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Theft by government: The IRS has seized nearly $19,000 of a widow’s savings because it didn’t like the manner in which she deposited it in the bank.
After [an October policy change that was supposed to stop most of these kinds of cash confiscations], federal prosecutors in Iowa agreed to return money the IRS seized from two people accused of structuring, including a restaurant owner who had $33,000 taken and a doctor who fought to get back $344,000 in earnings from his medical practice. But prosecutors declined to drop the civil forfeiture case over $18,775 the IRS seized from [the widow Janet] Malone.
Instead, they added a misdemeanor criminal charge last week alleging she willfully violated the law, after her husband had been warned about the practice four years ago. Malone is expected to plead guilty next week and let the government keep the money, under a plea agreement filed Monday. The charge carries up to one year in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Note that in every one of these cases, no actual crime was every committed. The money was earned legally. The only issue was the manner in which the individuals deposited the money. The IRS didn’t like it.