"They Just Want The Money!" The IRS Can Now Seize Accounts On Suspicion Alone

Tyler Durden's picture

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

*  *  *

The topic of civil asset forfeiture has been high on our agenda recently as federal 'agents' discover how to steal Americans' hard-earned cash with zero repurcussions , and decide unilaterally how much cash a 'common man' is allowed to carry; but as The NY Times reports, the escalation to The IRS brings a whole new world of possibilities with regard asset confiscation based on no actual crime being proved...

As The NY Times reports,

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away - until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.


The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

Her money was seized under an increasingly controversial area of law known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement agents to take property they suspect of being tied to crime even if no criminal charges are filed. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited.

Critics say this incentive has led to the creation of a law enforcement dragnet, with more than 100 multiagency task forces combing through bank reports, looking for bank accounts to seize.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.

“They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”


On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”




But the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that is seeking to reform civil forfeiture practices, analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five was prosecuted as a criminal structuring case.


The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

The $10,000 loophole line in the sand...

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks and other financial institutions must report cash deposits greater than $10,000. But since many criminals are aware of that requirement, banks also are supposed to report any suspicious transactions, including deposit patterns below $10,000. Last year, banks filed more than 700,000 suspicious activity reports.Owners who are caught up in structuring cases often cannot afford to fight. The median amount seized by the I.R.S. was $34,000, according to the Institute for Justice analysis, while legal costs can easily mount to $20,000 or more.


There is nothing illegal about depositing less than $10,000cash unless it is done specifically to evade the reporting requirement. But often a mere bank statement is enough for investigators to obtain a seizure warrant. In one Long Island case, the police submitted almost a year’s worth of daily deposits by a business, ranging from $5,550 to $9,910. The officer wrote in his warrant affidavit that based on his training and experience, the pattern “is consistent with structuring.” The government seized $447,000 from the business, a cash-intensive candy and cigarette distributor that has been run by one family for 27 years.


read more here...

As one lawyer defending against the IRS' aggressive 'stealing' tactics concludes...

“I don’t think they’re really interested in anything,” Mr. Potashnik said of the prosecutors. “They just want the money.”

Welcome to the land of the free

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dow jones 20000's picture

If you like your life savings...

0b1knob's picture

People with money ARE the enemy.  People without money are Democratic voters.

X.inf.capt's picture


they just want the money...

Latina Lover's picture

It is ALWAYS about the money!

As governments become more tyrannical, due to overreach and crumbling finances, everything becomes criminalized.

NoDecaf's picture

We need a new republic. One that will bring these criminals to justice and hang them by the neck...

Anyone who was a victim of these crimes should be in the first jury pools.

NoDebt's picture

When the original Patriot Act was passed over 10 years ago I thought "In 20-30 years that's going to lead to some serious corruption".

I was wrong.  It only took a little over 10 and I don't even recognize the place.

General Decline's picture


cnmcdee's picture

If you want to screw Uncle Sam <and> the courts - deposit your money onto your credit card - into a negative balance as it is legally recognized not as a credit but a debit and therefore cannot be seized.


Bangalore Equity Trader's picture

Listen Americans, those subject to US Law,

The IRS needs your money. There is a need that "YOU" as a law abiding citizen "MUST" satisfy.

You "MUST" contribute to building Greater Israel. It is the "DUTY" of a true patriot.

Now back to work.

Rememberweimar's picture

Israeli's are GODS. We must obey them. At all times. No matter what.

Stackers's picture

Chase bank will only allow cash deposits of any size with a photo ID and will not allow cash deposits of any size by any other than the signed account holder.

disabledvet's picture

What if I have a bazillion dollars?

Says right on the check..."one bazillion."

johngaltfla's picture

Argentina v2.0 on Steroids with a Stasi to enforce anything they want...

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

the crime is being middle class. That is offensive to TPTB. Middle classers are an affront to those working back to societies of slaves and slave owners only

NidStyles's picture

Oh gee, the same mentality that I was pointing out in the Hillary thread is displayed fully here as an end result.


This is what happens when you pay more attention to the names rather than the actions.

TuesdayBen's picture

It is fact that bank employees - tellers, loan officers, etc - are trained as gubmint spys

MontgomeryScott's picture


I am working Cape Race (OM).

Pickleton's picture

Every time you hear some conservative support the War on Drugs but whine about this bullshit, you should punch them in their fucking face.  This is their fault.  Stupid fucktards can yammer all day long about the stupidity of democrats (rightly so), but somehow fail to understand their own stupidity.


Anusocracy's picture

Not quite.

The problem is anyone who supports the existence of government. It's not needed anymore.

Look in a mirror.

Pickleton's picture

The problem is anyone who supports the existence of government


No, that's really extremist loon territory.  I'm rather Libertarian and support the very small, limited govt that the Founders envisioned.

chumbawamba's picture

Why are you arguing about things that have nothign to do with anything?  The obvious solution is stop doing business with or through banks.

Problem solved.

Bank account free since 2012.

I am Chumbawamba.

12ToothAssassin's picture

They can just print more money but they want mine instead? That doesnt make any sense.

goldsaver's picture

It does when you separate the layers of psycopaths. THe Banksters print all they want and use it to buy real assets. The politicians borrow all they wants and purchase power. The civil servants steal all they want and buy new cars, guns, office furniture, etc.

Anusocracy's picture

Seriously? Loon?

The death count from government in the 20th century was around 400 million and I'm the loon?

How about insane savage death-loving moron as a name for you?

Ballin D's picture

"It is fact that bank employees - tellers, loan officers, etc - are trained as gubmint spys"

No kidding.  When a Bank in America gave me training on how to file SARs I laughed. I found 0 cases of 'suspicious activities' in my time there.  Fuckers really thought I was going to spy on Americans for the govt.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Don't be an ass.

Comment on the STORY, instead.

IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY to begin with.

FUCK Hillary (well, I can't, and any real male in the entire world couldn't, either, because she's a greedy worn-out skanky whore bitch-slut). I guess it's up to YOU, Nid.



Welcome to 'Zero Hedge'. In a long enough timeline, everyone's chances of survival approach ZERO.

It's time to EMBRACE the REALITY.

8:25 through 8:32 ought to clear things up a bit for you, Nid.

Thanks for pointing out YOUR views on 'mentality', you arrogant fucker.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

So if I walk into my bank and deposit 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars, does that mean they will seize it?

MontgomeryScott's picture

No, no, no...

If you deposit LESS than 100 trillion ZD, there is OBVIOIUS evidence of an attempt to hide your ILLEGAL sources of income.

It's all in the 'code'. I take it that you are not familiar with THE CODE, you poor lad.

IGNORANCE of the 'law' is NO EXCUSE!

If you walk into an airport in the CONUS and try to board a flight, does it mean that they will try to sieze your cock and balls and feel up your wife's tits and try to stick their fingers up your daughter's ass and vagina all at the same time? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods?






falconflight's picture

And don't you forget it goy vermin.

Save_America1st's picture


It's not really about the money.  They don't need our money...they print as much of that shit for free out of thin air as they want every day.

No, this shit is purely about power and control.  It's about taking away freedom and liberty from the people and ruling over us as tyrannical sociopaths.  And there are plenty of willing douchebags who will work for the government mafia to do their bidding against the rest of us because they're losers who leach off of society.   

This type of story is just an example of the smaller battles within the war between us and them.  The war between liberty and tyranny.

Christophe2's picture

Yep.  More than anything, they use these tactics to run independent, honest businesses into the ground.

The god-damned corporations can't actually compete with honestly run businesses, but with media and mind control TPTB have always been able to get away with stuff like this, on all sorts of levels.

Just think back to how Rockefeller screwed farmers by first finding oil on their land, then encouraging them to get in debt to build wells, then using his monopolies to refuse to transport their oil 'till the farmers went bankrupt, at which point R's men would buy the assets on the cheap.

This IRS gambit is just one of so many shafts they use to take what we manage to create, and to make sure decent people never accumulate enough wealth (power) that they would be able to perturb TPTB's monopolies.

Yes_Questions's picture



+1.  The IRS's mandate is about confiscation of accumulated dollars before one can convert it to wealth, however meager.


Inflation plays its part as well.


The oligarchs cut workers and small business owner's off at the knees in this, and other ways.

Christophe2's picture

Here's a recent example of the type of con used to bankrupt entrepreneurs:


The lady explains how she and her husband own the LUCRATIVE patent for putting probiotics in ice cream - so what does the biggest Canadian supermarket chain do?  They get them to take on huge debt based on promises of their stores carrying the couples' probiotic ice cream, only to renege at the last minute, bringing them to the edge of bankruptcy.  The fuckers at Loblaws did this to the couple TWICE, and when a lawsuit was finally filed for breach of contract, Loblaws conveniently destroyed key computers to hide evidence...

I've heard of lots of businesses ruined by Wallmart in the US using similar schemes.  People should realize that, by process of elimination, there is not a single billionaire in the US/Canada who isn't a sociopath, and their minions control all the key parts of their shitty corporations - engage in business with them at your own risk and peril!

barre-de-rire's picture

pls, stop eating red piles, you are scarying new comers.

PT's picture

Second hand story:

Idealistic, over-eager, exactly-by-the-book-but-no-common-sense wants-to-make-a-name-for-himself cop starts work in a small country town.  Starts booking the locals for EVERY tiny little infraction - jay-walking, loitering, 5 ks per hour over the speed limit, etc.  The locals get pissed off, what to do?  They stop serving the cop and his wife.  "Sorry.  I can't sell you that.  It's reserved for someone else."  They can't buy a beer, they can't buy clothes, mechanic and tradies are always "booked out", they have to rely on welfare to eat.  Pretty soon cop and his wife just leave town.

It's probably hard to scale but it's something to ponder.

boattrash's picture

PT, First hand story: Cops used to pull me over and take my beer (coldest in town, due to salted ice) at shift change, but back to topic, IRS can suck the wet end of my stick, I'd prefer that it be the Honorable Lois Lerner herself, after having her teeth kicked out.

GCT's picture

PT My story is first hand because it happened to me!  I went to work and the IRS sent a letter of garnishment for 16,899.00 from my wages.  They had put liens on everything we owned and froze our bank accounts.  I could not do shit.  Anyways my friendly tax attorney I had to hire to fight the IRS cost 5 grand.  Their response was I owed them this money because my ex-wife sold the house we owned and I did not pay my share of the taxes.  Hell I did not even know she sold the fucking house.  We could not get any answers from the state IRS and myself, wife and tax attorey ended up in Memphis at an IRS hub to get the information.  This took like three months to get to this point. 

We get to Memphis and in my records is my quit claim deed and a check made out to my exwife.  Apparently they audited my file and discovered the check made out to her and decided I was to blame for some reason.  The auditor failed to fully check the records or so they said.  They lifted the liens and it took two years to get my money back.  Two years!  They put my wife and I thru hell for almost a year.  We got the money back with interest.  The reason I am typing this is because we were never notified or anything.  If my wife had not had her own separate accounts we would have been screwed big time and I think that was the IRS's intent.

I do pity anyone who deal with those assholes.  Thank goodness we were debt free or we would have lost our home.  The only payment we have.  The IRS could care less about us.  There were another 700 in my state alone that the IRS did this too.  Some lost it all and they could care less.  Even when the mistake was theirs.

Dugald's picture


The fall of the Roman  American empire........

How come the strikethrough failed???


Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

Hillary must be pleased: not only is the govt the only one hiring, but she is actively destroying smaill business to reinforce the impression that business doesnt create jobs

way to go hillary. You fucking DOLT!

InjectTheVenom's picture

you just hugely insulted all DOLTS 

PT's picture

Strike-through only works for special ZHers.  They can post pictures too.  Bit of a bummer for us riff-raff but I guess they have good reasons.  Saves a lot of memory when the riff-raff can't post pictures so I think that is a valid restriction, not sure about the strike-through though.  Either way, I'm happy to trust the Tylers' judgment in these particular matters.

pgroup's picture

Disagree, to a degree.

You're right - they don't need the money. BUT

They need to deprive YOU of the money so you have less power and therefore cannot resist effectively. In that sense, they do need the money ... to be away from you.

MontgomeryScott's picture

@ Save_America1st:

As a veteran of the Psychic Wars, I see some moducum of truth in your first statement.

"It's not really about the money.  They don't need our money...they print as much of that shit for free out of thin air as they want every day."

You'll come to realize that the control of money is the MEANS of the Power and the Control over the Masses that is the TOOL  that is used currently (if you live long enough to understand this).

CURRENTLY, it takes the form of the control of the sale and distribution of OIL (and the 'currency measurement' of the 'Petrodollar' derived therefrom).

Their NEXT moves come even NOW; along the lines of the control of the supply FRESH WATER, and even the AIR that you breathe.

Batshit crazy; my statement is. YUP.


Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"Listen Americans, those subject to US Law,..."~


"Rule of Law? RULE OF LAW?!? We don't need no stinkin' Rule of Law!"


Your friendly local IRS office


Seriously, is it any wonder few entrepreneurs want to open a new small business with the state of governmental lawlessness in America today? Why take the risk? Obama and the democrats, the corporatists and their cronies stack the deck against the little guy.

In California today it costs four times as much just to form an LLC than it does in neighboring Nevada. You can't sell at a local swap meet more than once every six months without getting a resellers' permit from the state. In my town, you even need a permit to hold a garage sale and don't even think about letting your kid have a lemonade stand. So I'll ask the question again.

Why take the risk?

daveO's picture

What if the bank tries to steal it and closes the account? I could doing a few thousand that way.

Trucker Glock's picture

"When the original Patriot Act was passed over 10 years ago I thought "In 20-30 years that's going to lead to some serious corruption".

I was wrong.  It only took a little over 10 and I don't even recognize the place."

Structuring laws predate Patriot Act.  Drug War bullshit.  Nothing new.