You may have been reading about police departments and other law enforcement taking money and property from people through civil forfeiture without having to prove that the money or property was obtained through illegal means. Many people (including this writer) argue that civil forfeiture is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure and a violation of your Fifth Amendment right to due process (i.e. the government can’t take your property unless they prove that they have legal right to do so).
But, like any “good” overreaching government, if you own a business, civil forfeiture is only one of the attacks that our government may use to steal from you. That’s right, even if you are someone who doesn’t argue that all taxation is theft, you’ll find that the Federal government is guilty of plain and simple theft. What do I mean? Simple: the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that, between 2012 and 2014, the IRS seized hundreds of bank accounts worth over $17 million. The Daily Sheeple noted,
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report on March 30 that details how IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits.
In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal. The audit also found that investigators violated internal policies when conducting interviews, failed to notify individuals of their rights, and improperly bargained to resolve civil cases.
To make it worse, the Institute for Justice writes,
Department of Justice attorneys working with the IRS encouraged “quick hits,” where property was easier to seize, “rather than pursuing cases with other criminal activity (such as drug trafficking and money laundering), which are more time-consuming”;
“The Government appeared to bargain non-prosecution to resolve the civil forfeiture case[s]”;
Investigators often ignored reasonable explanations for transactions that appeared to fit a pattern of structuring.
And, Institute for Justice attorney Robert Everett Johnson writes,
The IRS gave no warning prior to these seizures, and the IRS did not speak to property owners to see if there might be some honest explanation for the pattern. Shockingly, even when property owners provided an innocent explanation for their banking practices following the seizures, the IRS watchdog found that the agency did not even consider whether it might be true. That disregard for the pursuit of justice is the unfortunate but unsurprising result of civil forfeiture’s profit incentive, which allows agencies like the IRS to use money that they seize to fund their budgets.
Now, let’s make this completely clear for anyone who is the least bit confused by all of this: essentially, the IRS seized accounts worth $17 million for no reason other than a technical clause and no proof of wrongdoing and without notice or warning (illegal search and seizure anyone?). 91% of these seizures were found to have taken money from individuals and businesses who did absolutely nothing wrong, and the IRS has not given all of the money back.
Does anyone still think that we don’t live in a police state where the government can run roughshod over the people without consequences? If you still think that, then let this comment by The Daily Sheeple be a wake up call to you:
The findings of the TIGTA audit were released shortly after another government corruption bombshell was revealed: The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized $3.2 billion in cash over a 10-year period from people who were never under criminal investigation.
Our Federal government and at least some law enforcement agencies are in the game for personal profit. In other words, you are just an object or a tool, a “human resource,” for them to use for their own purposes. If this isn’t a violation of the ideals of freedom, I don’t know what is.
Our advice? Find ways to legally and securely protect your assets from government seizure. Your future financial security may depend upon it.