Tag Archives: government theft

Wyoming judge rules against theft by government

Good work if you can get it: A Wyoming judge today ordered the state to return a man’s life savings, $92K in cash, that police officers confiscated for no reason during a traffic stop.

Parhamovich told The Associated Press that he was traveling to several performances in Western states and decided to bring his “life savings” because maintenance staff often came into his rented apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. The 50-year-old hid the money inside a speaker he was bringing along on the trip.

While driving near Cheyenne on March 13, officers with the Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations pulled him over. Parhamovich said officers questioned him about whether any drugs or large amounts of cash were in the car and then used a police dog before physically searching through his minivan and finding the money. Parhamovich said the officers implied that carrying that much cash was illegal. He lied and said it was a friend’s. Parhamovich said officers then told him that he could leave if he signed a form saying he was giving the $91,800 to the investigative agency for “narcotics law enforcement purposes.”

“I remember asking them a bunch of times: ‘What happens if I don’t sign this?'” Parhamovich said. “I couldn’t get a straight answer. What I was told kind of made it seem like I would go to jail or they’d detain me for a long time.”

He drove away with a $25 ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt, he said.

This behavior by the police and the state government is wrong and immoral on so many levels it is hard to count them all. Here are a few: It is not illegal to carry lots of cash. The Constitution expressly forbids the taking of private property without just compensation. Parhamovich was never charged with any crime and yet the state tried to keep his money.

There’s more in the article, including another case where Wyoming stole almost a half a million from an innocent citizen, never charged him with a crime, and was still allowed to keep the money because the state supreme court said it was okay for the state to steal.

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IRS steals widow’s savings

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.

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