“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”
The federal government does.
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The topic of civil asset forfeiture has been high on our agenda recently as federal ‘agents’ discover how to steal Americans’ hard-earned cash with zero repurcussions , and decide unilaterally how much cash a ‘common man’ is allowed to carry; but as The NY Times reports, the escalation to The IRS brings a whole new world of possibilities with regard asset confiscation based on no actual crime being proved…
For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away – until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.
The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.
Her money was seized under an increasingly controversial area of law known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement agents to take property they suspect of being tied to crime even if no criminal charges are filed. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited.