ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Once Tony Jalili was sued by the federal government, he knew exactly what he needed to do.
The Orange County landlord booted the medical marijuana dispensary from the building he owns. Despite that effort, federal prosecutors are still trying to take away the building as part of a crackdown on pot shops across California.
Jalili argues that he has been unfairly targeted by the feds and should be entitled to keep his building.
But authorities are using a well-established law that allows them to file forfeiture lawsuits against landlords and their properties linked to criminal activity. Forfeitures accounted for nearly $4.2 billion last fiscal year.
Federal prosecutors are defending their actions, saying the lawsuits are a measured approach targeting landlords who were notified that their tenants were operating illegally.