The IRS and Asset Forfeiture

The New York Times had piece this weekend on the IRS and asset forfeiture:

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.

In the kind of logic that only passes as logic when backed with the authority of the state:

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks and other financial institutions must report cash deposits greater than $10,000. But since many criminals are aware of that requirement, banks also are supposed to report any suspicious transactions, including deposit patterns below $10,000.

So deposits of over $10,000 are suspicious. Since criminals know that, deposits of under $10,000 are also suspicious. And suspicion—not proof of a criminal act—is sufficient for a seizure warrant. You can prove your innocence, of course. But that can be a daunting challenge once you have been stripped of your resources.

The one consolation—as of today, the IRS doesn’t have drones.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s