The IRS had seized $107,000 from McLellan's bank account in 2014, accusing him of “structuring" violations. Structuring involves making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of just under $10,000 into or out of a bank account to avoid federal reporting requirements of cash of $10,000 or more. Laws against structuring were intended to stop money laundering and drug trafficking. (Beware of the “natural” law of unintended consequences.)
Structuring laws have also been used against many innocent people. Money has been seized, and people have to sue the government to get their money back. The government has often wanted to negotiate a deal, giving the people only part of their money back.
However, because of complaints against the government, the Justice Department changed into policies regarding civil asset forfeiture. In McLennan's case, the Justice Department did return his $107,000 in May 2015. However, they did not reimburse him for his $20,000 in legal fees and expenses.
On Feb. 2, the judge ruled that the IRS must reimburse him legal fees and expenses.
Assets seized in 2014. Assets returned 2015. Legal fees and expense reimbursed 2016.
What makes this case especially appalling is that Congress, concerned with potential abuse of the civil forfeiture system, enacted the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, which allowed a person who has won in a civil forfeiture proceeding to recover from the U.S. reasonable attorney fees and litigation costs. Recovery of legal fees and expenses was in the law. Yet the IRS and Justice Dept. fought the reimbursement, until the federal judge forced them.
Scary legal system!!!!
The election or appointment of judges is important. Judge James Fox was appointed by Reagan in 1982. 33 years later, that appointment is still impactful.
Vote for constitutionally conservative, or “originalist,” judges!
Justice may be slow, but I still choose justice under the Constitution. Tyranny can be very swift, like “Executive Action Amnesty.” Choose slow justice over swift tyranny.
Have the courage to demand justice!
Contributed by Peggy Smetana