IRS Seizes Life Savings From Another Small Business For Using Cash

from Institute for Justice, via Activist Post Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart, a gas station, restaurant, and convenience store in rural Fairmont, North Carolina. Then, one year ago, without any warning, agents from the IRS seized his entire bank account, totaling more than $107,000. With that, Lyndon entered the upside down world of civil forfeiture, where the government can seize and keep ordinary Americans’ property without ever charging them with a crime. The IRS and Department of Justice are pursuing forfeiture of Lyndon’s money despite a recent policy change designed to prevent precisely these kinds of cases. In October 2014, the IRS announced that (absent “exceptional” circumstances) it would pursue forfeiture in cases like Lyndon’s only where there was evidence that the money being seized was derived from illegal activity. The U.S. Department of Justice announced a similar policy change in March 2015. In February 2015, during a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee, North Carolina Congressman George Holding told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen that he’d reviewed Lyndon’s case—without specifically naming it—and that there was no allegation of the kind of illegal activity required by the IRS’s new policy. The IRS Commissioner responded, “If that cases exists, then it’s not following the policy.” When news of the IRS Commissioner’s statement got back to the United States Attorney in charge of Lyndon’s case, he advised Lyndon’s attorney and accountant that he was “concerned” that Lyndon’s case document was provided to Congress, and that: Continue Reading>>>

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