Judge orders $1M returned to woman who says she earned it as exotic dancer

A federal judge has ordered the government to return more than $1 million seized in a traffic stop to a California woman – plus interest.

Tasha Mishra, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., sued earlier this year after Nebraska officials seized the $1,074,900 in cash that she says was her life savings earned over years as an exotic dancer.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said in an opinion this week that government lawyers failed to prove the money was connected to illegal drugs, as it had claimed.

A Nebraska state trooper seized the money in a March 3 traffic stop. Two people in the car were released without charges, but officers kept the money, saying a police dog indicated drug residue on the cash.