The IRS closed her bank account and seized nearly $33,000 of her money — but wait until you hear what her “crime” was.
Grandmother and small business owner Carole Hinders said the seizure happened one day in May 2013, and it took her completely by surprise because the money seized was the fruit of her honest labor.
“How can I be committing a crime by depositing money that I worked for, and deposited in my own bank account?” Hinders asked. “In 30 years of banking with the same bank, no one ever mentioned that I was making my deposits wrong.”
It all relates to what the IRS calls “structuring,” when someone makes withdrawals or deposits strategically under the amount of $10,000 to avoid having their bank file a currency transaction report with the Feds.
But in cases like Hinders’, small business owners aren’t “structuring” to avoid paperwork or get away with illicit uses of money — they just make frequent deposits under $10,000 because their businesses aren’t bringing in more money.
“The government is treating Carole like a criminal, just for running an honest cash business,” said Larry Salzman with the Institute for Justice.
Earlier this month, TheBlaze TV’s “For the Record” took a hard look at how thousands of people, especially small business owners, have been victims of forfeiture — and how they’re fighting back.
As the troubling issue comes to the public’s attention, the IRS has indicated it could back down: On Saturday, the IRS said it would ease off on seizures, focusing on cases in which money is believed to have been illegally acquired or in which “exceptional circumstances” warrant a seizure.
As for Hinders, she’s still fighting the determination and to unfreeze her money.
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