A little known practice of the Government is called "Civil Forfeiture". It is typically relegated to drug-busts, prostitution rings, etc, etc; you
know, illegal activities. Apparently the Government has been steadily expanding their sphere of influence with this practice and is now targeting
those who have done nothing wrong or anything illegal. To highlight this, I present you United States v. $35,651.11
While United States v. $35,651.11 might not be the official case name, it highlights exactly what the State is attempting to claim what is not theirs
to claim. In this case, it is a grocer named Tarik "Terry" Dehko and an unbelievable story (well not that unbelievable) about a government who has
decided that they wanted his money, bank account and any proceeds that are associated with it.
The Institute for Justice
has taken up Terry's case.
For over 30 years, Terry Dehko has successfully run a grocery store in Fraser, Mich., with his daughter Sandy. In January 2013, without warning,
the federal government used civil forfeiture to seize all of the money from the Dehkos’ store bank account (more than $35,000) even though they’ve
done absolutely nothing wrong. Their American Dream is now a nightmare.
Their crime? According to their complaint brief (PDF)
they were depositing 'large sums of cash', multiple times a day. The brief explains that the practice was no secret and they explain exactly why they
make multiple deposits a day.
A: They are a retailer and they would rather not have large sums of cash in the till.
B: They have a company policy towards those with the responsibility of making deposits, to never have more than $10,000 of cash on hand; fear of
robbery and putting employees in danger.
C: The IRS audited their actions under the auspicious "Bank Security Act" and found no wrong doing.
Unfortunately, even though they were "cleared" by that audit, the Government obtained a warrant and without recourse, seized Mr. Dehko's business
The Government's reasoning behind this seizure, as outlined in the complaint, is as follows:
The basis for the Government’s civil forfeiture action was its assertion that Terry
and Sandy violated federal law by “structuring” a series of cash deposits “to evade the currency
reporting requirements in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5324.”
Here is 31 USC § 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requirement
The Government based this forfeiture solely because it decided that Mr. Dehko's practices of depositing large sums of cash, in small increments,
violated "federal structuring laws" and that the crime committed was a "cause or attempt to cause a domestic financial institution to fail to file a
Currently, this case is filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and a date is to be determined on its hearing.
Cases such as these infuriate me because they have little recourse and little to no notice that the Government will just step in, claim it is theirs,
and then point to an abstract portion of the United States Code as their authority. They do not need to prove it save a warrant; which we have seen
abused time and time again.
edit on 4-10-2013 by ownbestenemy because: Minor fixes in grammar and style.