According to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized approximately $17.1 million from Americans’ bank accounts that were thought to be involved in “criminal enterprises.”
The funds seized by the IRS were said “to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises.” However, of the 278 investigations that took place by TIGTA, 91 percent of the funds were said to be obtained legally by businesses.
So, what does that tell us? Well, it tells us that in 91 percent of the cases, people had their money seized without being charged with a crime! Our Constitution is clear:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. – Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution
Seizing money or property without due process of law is unconstitutional and criminal. This is why asset forfeiture, be it under a Democrat administration or a Republican one, is criminal, and those engaged in it should be brought to justice.
“Most people impacted by the program did not appear to be criminal enterprises engaged in other alleged illegal activity,” a TIGTA statement read. “The report also concludes that the rights of some individuals and businesses were compromised in these investigations.”
You think? They were not just compromised, they were violated! So, is TIGTA or agents with the IRS going to be held responsible? Not on your life!
“When property owners were interviewed after the seizure, agents did not always identify themselves properly, did not explain the purpose of the interviews, did not advise property owners of any rights they might have, and told property owners they had committed a crime at the conclusion of the interviews,” the statement continued.
So, why was their money seized? Forget telling them their rights. That is something of which they should be aware. Those involved should have been aware of the rights of the citizens and the limits of their authority.
Allegedly, the money was seized for claims that the businesses or individuals were violating the Bank Secrecy Act. According to the Act, banks are to report transactions greater than $10,000. It’s an absolutely stupid law that can easily be undermined by simply making smaller deposits, but more than that, it’s none of the government’s business how much money you have, deposit into your bank or take out of your account.
The report adds that the IRS agents involved failed to even investigate whether or not the transactions of those they seized money from was legal or not. Furthermore, they didn’t even see if business owners had reasonable explanations until after they seized their funds.
This is criminal. If you or I did that to an individual or a business, we would be charged with any number of crimes that involved stealing (Exodus 20:15). How is it that these people continue to keep their jobs?
“In most instances, interviews with the property owners were conducted after the seizure to determine the reason for the pattern of banking transactions and if the property owner had knowledge of the banking law and had intent to structure,” the report read.
Though technically, if a business owners failed to report deposits over $10,000 they were considered to be violating the law, the report indicated that the law was created to apprehend criminals “not put in place just so that the government could enforce the reporting requirements.”
“Criminal Investigation (CI) has now made important improvements to this program; however, the IRS should ensure that protections are in place so that people have rights and that innocent people do not feel compelled to settle a civil forfeiture matter under the pressure of possible criminal prosecution,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
“TIGTA made recommendations for improvement of the program, and CI agreed with five recommendations, disagreed with three recommendations, and partially agreed with one recommendation,” the TIGTA statement read. “In responding to the recommendations, CI officials said that they have established controls to monitor case selection and are in the process of evaluating petitions from property owners impacted by the program after CI issued over 1,800 letters to persons impacted by the forfeiture program since 2009 in which they were invited to submit or resubmit petitions for return of funds. Further, they partially agreed to allow advice of rights in noncustodial situations for administrative cases but not for cases it deems are ‘grand jury investigations.’”
“IRS CI agreed that all reasonable explanations provided by subjects should be explored and has eliminated the use of Consents to Forfeiture,” the statement concluded. “They declined to provide additional guidance or training regarding the bargaining of nonprosecution to resolve a civil case. They stated that they are committed to making appropriate referrals to the IRS examination function, but will not agree to improve their grand jury information designation process, stating that the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 (which grants Inspectors General access to grand jury information, unless certain denial criteria are met; e.g., active investigations or disclosure would be harmful to the interests of the United States) obviates the need for CI to correct the problem of over-designating information as grand jury information. TIGTA believes that requiring the Attorney General to review voluminous information for the Act’s grand jury denial criteria when the information has been incorrectly designated as grand jury information by CI is a needless waste of scarce resources of both the Attorney General and TIGTA.”
Yet, the IRS and the TIGTA is prefectly fine with wasting the resources of individuals and businesses, along with stealing their money and not charging them with a crime? This is outrageous!
Well, as I said before, it’s none of the government’s business how much money you have or transact via a bank. Doesn’t matter what they claim. This is an injustice, and lots of heads should roll over this admitted criminal activity.