August 14, 2015

IRS Steals $30K From Innocent Maryland Farmers Because of THIS Insane Law

 Civil Asset Forfeiture – the vehicle through which government can legally take your money even though you haven’t been charged with a crime or had due process – is wreaking havoc in America.
Federal, state, and local governments have used CAF laws to add millions to their budgets.  And, their victims have had to bear huge legal bills in their pursuit for justice and the return of their property.
Civil Asset Forfeiture laws were originally created to seize the assets of drug kingpins, international terrorists, and organized crime bosses – to impound significant assets before they disappeared.
But, like many supposedly good ideas that aren’t Constitutional, they can easily go frightfully wrong.
Such is the case of one dairy farmer in Maryland.  The Daily Signal has the whole shocking tale:
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee is coming together to ask the Treasury Department to return nearly $30,000 it seized from Maryland dairy farmers in 2012.

The letter, sent August 11 to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, calls on the agency to return $29,500 the Internal Revenue Service seized from Frederick-based dairy farmers Randy and Karen Sowers through civil asset forfeiture.
The lawmakers also asked Lew to review similar cases and return money seized by the tax agency under the practice.
“Treasury still holds funds seized from innocent business owners who settled their cases only because they could not afford to do otherwise,” the letter said. “As the Treasury secretary, you have the opportunity to right the wrong done to these small business owners.”
It’s hard to believe things like this are happening in the United States.  Where were this family’s Constitutional rights?
 The Daily Signal explains more:
Three years ago, the IRS seized $63,000 from the Sowers’ bank account under civil asset forfeiture. The tax agency alleged that the couple committed structuring violations, which involves making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of under $10,000 to avoid bank reporting requirements.
The money deposited into the farm’s account, though, came from customers who paid in cash at the local farmer’s market.
The Sowers were never charged or convicted of a crime.
 But, it seems the federal government decided to make an example out of the Sowers according to The Daily Signal:
While the couple was in the midst of settlement negotiations with the government, hoping to have most of their money returned, Randy Sowers spoke with a reporter from The City Paper in Baltimore, Md., about his experience with structuring and civil asset forfeiture.
On the day the article was published, Stefan Cassella, the assistant U.S. attorney overseeing Sowers’ structuring case, told the family’s lawyer he had a “problem” and was no longer willing to negotiate a settlement amount, according to court filings.
The Sowers did eventually settle, forfeiting $29,500 to the federal government.

Though the Sowers had some of their money returned, the couple filed a petition with the government last month asking for the remainder of it back.
The family’s case is just one of many that has emerged in recent years involving civil asset forfeiture.
Supposedly, the federal government changed its policy regarding Civil Asset Forfeiture in 2014 due to public pressure.
But, the Sowers still don’t have all their money back yet.
Hopefully, the pressure from Congress will aid in its return.
One thing this case proves is the need to abolish the IRS.  Over and over again this federal agency has abused its powers.
With a flat, fair, national sales tax, the U.S. government could be funded without needing a “big brother” agency threatening everyone.
The only people to lose out if the IRS is abolished would be the politicians who come to power and use the agency to enforce their will on the American people and persecute those who disagree with them.

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