Manhattan DA spent $250K in civil asset forfeitures on travel, dining: report

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. spent nearly $250,000 from civil asset forfeitures on lodging, travel and dining, according to records obtained by The City, a new nonprofit news outlet.

Vance controls more than $600 million in asset forfeitures, according to The City, and allegedly used it for expenses such as a $4,780 round-trip flight to London and a $2,800 hotel stay. He reportedly far outspent New York’s other four district attorneys over the last five years, with the second highest-spending prosecutor, Bronx DA Darcel Clark, laying out a total $18,407 to cover travel to conferences since assuming his office in 2016.

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Vance told The City the expenses were necessary to attend conferences covering issues like terrorism, gun control and cybersecurity.

“I can’t look at my defensive perimeter as the southern and northern tip of Manhattan,” he told the publication. “It requires an international approach and international partnerships and relationships to do the work that we do.”

Vance’s office has become the focus of national controversy in recent years over reports he dropped investigations of both disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpThe White House and schools have this in common: Asbestos President tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE after donations from their attorneys. Vance eventually indicted Weinstein last May on charges of rape and committing a criminal sexual act and eventually announced his office would no longer accept donations from lawyers in pending cases.

More recently, he indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEx-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testifies against former Obama counsel Gregory Craig Trial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer MORE on mortgage fraud charges the same day Manafort was sentenced to 43 months in prison in federal court on other charges.

The Hill has reached out to Vance's office for comment.