DownsizeDC.org
May 1, 2012
Feds Punish Business Owner for Making Bank Deposits
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "Asset forfeiture is a mockery of the Bill of Rights. There is no presumption of innocence, no need to prove you guilty (or even charge you with a crime), no right to a jury trial, no right to confront your accuser, no right to a court-appointed attorney (even if the government has just stolen all your money), and no right to compensation for the property that's been taken." Harry Browne (1933-2006), Downsize DC co-founder

I am angry. This letter (which you can copy and send to Congress, just like I did) explains why...

"Civil asset forfeiture" is the polite-sounding name for blatant government theft. It means the State takes property that it CLAIMS might have been used in a crime, even if the owners are never even charged with a crime.

Forfeiture is a medieval practice of monarchical tyrants. It was reintroduced in America thanks to Alcohol Prohibition and then Drug Prohibition. (http://www.rfslawoffices.com/CivilForfeiture.pdf)

Among the victims of asset forfeiture are people whose only "crime" is carrying around large amounts of their own cash. (https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/end-asset-forfeiture/)

In a shocking new development, State thieves are even stealing money from people who deposit their money in banks! 

Vijaykuma Patel, owner of an Alabama convenience store, often made multiple bank deposits per day. The total daily deposits were usually in excess of $10,000, although the individual deposits were not.

Banks are required by law to report to the feds when individuals make cash deposits of $10,000 or more; Patel's bank apparently failed to do so.

Instead of blaming the bank, the feds declared Patel guilty of possible money laundering and confiscated $107,000 of his own money. Yet they wouldn't even charge Patel with a crime. This isn't a made up story!  (http://forfeiturereform.com/2012/03/28/they-can-take-your-money-if-you-put-it-in-a-bank-too/)

Therefore...

* If we don't use a bank, we're a "criminal"
* But if we DO use a bank, we're still a "criminal"

Of course, we're not REALLY criminals. We're just treated as if we are. We lose our property without due process.

Too bad, right? Such is the logic of civil asset forfeiture "law."

This isn't law. It's blatant theft, cloaked in the pretense of crime control.

And I think YOU don't care because otherwise, you'd put a stop to this immoral practice.

Asset forfeiture is a disgrace in a free country and a stain on your personal record.

It hasn't even worked in stopping crime or the trade in prohibited goods. Instead, it’s created a perverse profit motive in our "public servants." Men and women who've done nothing illegal have been victimized by the same government which (allegedly) is supposed to protect them.

How much longer will you side with the aggressors?

As one of the "innocent, until proven guilty by due process" crowd, I withdraw consent to be governed in this way.

Your lack of concern for the American people will be the undoing of your power. 

END ASSET FORFEITURE NOW.

END LETTER

I sent this letter using DownsizeDC.org's End Asset Forfeiture campaign.

I invite you to send a letter to protest this evil practice as well. Remember, you may borrow from or copy the above letter, or better yet, write one of your own.

And we encourage you to "like" us on Facebook and share this and other posts with your friends: http://www.facebook.com/downsizedc

James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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