Judge Orders $1 Million Returned to Exotic Dancer

ABC News Blogs
Judge Orders $1 Million Returned to Exotic Dancer
.

View photo

Judge Orders $1 Million Returned to Exotic Dancer (ABC News)

A federal judge has ruled that Nebraska cops must return over $1 million confiscated at a traffic stop from a woman who saved the money $1 at a time during her 15 year career as an exotic dancer.

The money belongs to Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who began putting aside her earnings when she started dancing at age 18, according to an opinion U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon wrote last week. The money was meant to start her business and get out of the stripping business, the judge wrote.

State troopers confiscated the money in March 2012 when they pulled over Rajesh and Marina Dheri, of Montville, N.J., for speeding in Nebraska, according to court documents. The Dheris are friends of Mishra and had been given the cash so they could buy a nightclub in New Jersey. Mishra would own half of the business and the Dheris would own the other half.

Mishra had packaged the money in $10,000 bundles tied with hair bands and placed in plastic bags, and it was stashed in the trunk of the Dheri's rented car, which the Dheris were driving to Chicago. When they were pulled over for speeding, a state trooper asked the Dheris if he could search their vehicle, which they allowed, Bataillon explained.

The state trooper found the money and after suspecting it was drug money took the Dheris into custody, according to the judge's opinion. But police did not find any evidence of drug activity in the car and a K-9 analysis found only trace elements of illegal drugs on the cash, according to Bataillon.

Neither Mishra nor the Dheris could not be reached for comment.

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

Bataillon ordered that Mishra receive cash or a check in the value of $1,074,000 with interest.

View Comments (10732)

Recommended for You

  • Massive Pig Corralled at New Hampshire Polling Station

    One New Hampshire voter this morning wanted to see how the sausage gets made.A massive pig weighing over 600 pounds was corralled today from outside a voting station here in Pelham, New Hampshire, according to the Pelham Police Department.The pig lingered among Granite State voters, who were just…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • Ciara Sues Former Fiance for Slander, Defamation and Libel

    Ciara has filed a lawsuit against her former fiancé, Future. Ciara cited numerous occasions in which she claims Future made malicious comments about her, their 1-year-old son, and her new boyfriend, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, on social media and in the press. A few months later, they…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • Senator Worries Too Many Ineligible People Getting Obamacare Subsidies

    The head of a key congressional homeland security committee said today he's worried the Obama administration's system for denying Obamacare tax credits to ineligible applicants is so lax that it could lead to many undocumented immigrants getting coverage. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin,…

    Good Morning America20 mins ago
  • Florida Man Attacks Victims With Metal Rod and Samurai Sword in Bizarre Crime Spree, Police Say

    A 22-year-old man clad in a bright red bucket hat went on a bizarre and violent crime spree in Lauderhill, Florida, on Sunday morning, injuring two, police said. Jovaughn Walker stole a vehicle, attacked an elderly man with a metal rod at a gas station, then drove to a market and attacked a clerk…

    Good Morning America
  • 18-Year-Old Kidney Transplant Survivor Gets Renovated Truck Thanks to Make-A-Wish

    Strangers from around the country came together to make over a pickup truck for an 18-year-old kidney transplant survivor. Nick Cesarini, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was surprised with the truck Saturday in a reveal so dramatic his twin sister flew home from college to attend it. “I was blown…

    Good Morning America
  • Kelly Rowland Reveals What She's Learned From Beyonce’s Mom

    It's been nearly 20 years since singer Kelly Rowland launched on the scene as a member of one of music's prominent girl groups: Destiny's Child. However, Rowland has worked hard to do just that. The 34-year-old singer, who married her manager Tim Witherspoon in 2014, gave birth to their son Titan…

    Good Morning America
  • Zika Virus Outbreak Updates: Florida Expands State of Emergency to 7th County

    As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women, because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain. …

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Writes School Note Excusing Daughters' Tardiness Because of a Bruce Springsteen Concert

    In a major Dad-move win, Patrick Pipino of Saratoga Springs, New York, penned an honest note excusing his daughters' school tardiness because the family attended a Bruce Springsteen concert on Monday night. Pipino told ABC News that his two daughters, Isabelle, 12, and Sarah, 7, are both huge…

    Good Morning America
  • Syrian Couple's Wedding Photos Amid Ruins of Homs Prove 'Life Is Stronger Than Death'

    Photos of the 18-year-old bride, Nada Mehri, and the 27-year-old Syrian army soldier groom, Hassan Youssef, were taken by professional photographer Jafar Meray Friday, according to international news agency Agence France-Presse. A large portion of Homs, Syria's third largest city, was destroyed…

    Good Morning America
  • Sikh Actor and Model Waris Ahluwalia Barred From Aeromexico Flight Over Turban

    Sikh actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia remains in Mexico City, a day after he says he was barred from boarding an Aeromexico flight to New York for refusing to remove his turban in public during a security screening. "This morning in Mexico City I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight…

    Good Morning America
  • Samuel L. Jackson Recounts Racist Moment as a Young Actor

    Samuel L. Jackson said he'll always remember this one incident that happened when he was starting his career in Hollywood. He continued "There we were, lying facedown in the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard. "I was thinking to myself, I’m in Hollywood now, on the verge of breaking through, and…

    Good Morning America
  • Rapper DMX Rushed to Hospital After Asthma Attack, Says Lawyer

    DMX was rushed to a Yonkers, New York, hospital last night after an apparent asthma attack, his lawyer Murray Richman told ABC News. The rapper, born Earl Simmons, was at a local Ramada at the time of the incident, according to both his lawyer and the manager of the hotel, Hari Shukla. Richman…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Passenger Recounts Terrifying 12 Hours on Cruise Ship

    One passenger on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds said she was afraid for her life as the boat tipped side to side and she lay in bed shaking.Guests on the Anthem of the Seas ship were asked to stay in their rooms Sunday as wind gusts topped 76 miles per hour…

    Good Morning America10 mins ago
  • Incredible Footage Shows Pedestrian Tripping Suspect as He's Running From Police

    Officers were on patrol in Kingston, United Kingdom, on Saturday when they were made aware of a report of two males dealing drugs, police said in a statement. The officers chased one of the suspects through the town center "when they received some unexpected assistance from a member of the…

    Good Morning America
  • Hong Kong 'Fish Ball Revolution' Erupts in Violent Crackdown

    Violent clashes erupted overnight in Hong Kong after protesters defended unlicensed food vendors, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations, from being shut down by police. The group said on its official Facebook page that its candidate for local council, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.

    Good Morning America
  • Brie Larson Hasn't Seen or Spoken to Her Dad in 10 Years

    Brie Larson is up for an Oscar for her emotionally-wrenching performance of a woman held captive in a garden shed for seven years in the film "Room."Some of the inspiration for her performance, the 26-year-old actress told Elle in a new interview, comes from her own life and difficult childhood.…

    Good Morning America
  • Sylvester Stallone Says He Considered Boycotting the Oscars

    The topic of diversity in Hollywood and within the Academy was addressed by several stars Monday at the Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills. Sylvester Stallone, a best supporting actor contender for "Creed," made headlines by saying he was open to the idea of boycotting the upcoming Oscars…

    Good Morning America