Police ordered to return $1m to exotic dancer

Police must return over $1million they confiscated from a woman, who saved the cash $1 at a time during her career as an exotic dancer, a judge has ruled.

Tara Mishra, of California, began saving the money when she started working as a dancer in a club at the age of 18, U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon wrote in an opinion, reported by ABC News.

The judge declared that the woman’s intention was to save enough cash to start her own business, enabling her to quit working as a stripper.

However, Nebraska state troopers confiscated the cash when they pulled over Rajesh and Marina Dheri for speeding last year, according to court documents.

The couple is friends of Ms Mishra and had been given the cash to buy a nightclub in New Jersey; Ms Mishra would own half the business, Rajesh and Marina Dheri would have owned the other half.

The state trooper suspected the cash was drug money, even though the police found no evidence of drug activity, wrote the judge.

“The government failed to show a substantial connection between drugs and the money," Bataillon wrote in judgement.

"The dog sniff is inconsequential. The court finds the Mishras' story is credible. Ms. Mishra did have control over the money and directed the Dheris to deliver the money to New Jersey for the purchase of the business."

Ms Mishra’s attorney Roger Diamond told the Journal Star: “In any event, that claimant Tara Mishra earned her money by lap dancing and nude dancing does not mean that a Nebraska State Trooper can take her life savings.”

The judge ordered Ms Mishra receive a cheque or cash for the value of $1,074,000, to take interest lost into account.

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