Tags: government | seizes | money | business

Daily Signal: Feds Seized $115K From Business With No Charges Filed

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 07:12 PM

A new report details how the federal government seized more than $115,000 from a couple's business banking account before giving it back, and the agency is now refusing to pay for the $25,000 the couple spent in legal fees.

The Daily Signal has the story of Tom and Marla Bednar and their business, Marla Enterprises.

Tom Bednar told the Signal the U.S. Secret Service did not provide any warning before seizing their money because of what it said was structuring violations — depositing and withdrawing amounts just under $10,000. Transactions of at least $10,000 must be reported to the Department of the Treasury.

Depositing and withdrawing in amounts just under that with the intention of keeping the Treasury Department out of the loop is a felony known as structuring.

An affidavit pointed out that the couple withdrew just under $10,000 in cash 28 times between Jan. 6, 2014 and May 29, 2014. Several banks apparently warned them to stop the practice, but Tom Bednar said the warnings never reached the couple.

"No one ever warned that it could be suspicious to withdraw under $10,000," he told the Signal. Bednar added that he was doing so because he was under the impression that insurance companies would not cover anything over $10,000 should anything happen to a withdrawal of more than $10,000.

Additionally, the couple's business, which deals with precious metals, gold coins, and antiques, frequently has cash transactions.

The Secret Service likely got involved, according to the Signal, because the business deals with currency.

The couple's months-long legal battle with the government recently concluded with Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen West moving to dismiss the case. That means the Bednars will get the $115,018.01 back that was seized, but not the $25,000 they spent on legal fees.

"If I don't know that I might be running afoul of the law, the only way to know is to be aware of it," Bednar said.

"I've been brought up in the old school. I'm very religious — very Catholic. I know right from wrong. I know that this is as wrong as things can get in this part of the world.

"My wife and I have run a business our whole lives. It's hard-earned, legitimate money. Why should I give it up and let it be stolen from us, whether it's $1 or $100?"

The Bednars were ultimately never charged with a crime and the government is giving up on the case. Their lawyer is now trying to have the case thrown out "with prejudice," which would make it easier for them to be reimbursed for their legal expenses and harder for the government to reopen the case in the future.

There have been other cases in which the government took money from Americans' wallets and bank accounts. A federal program that allows local and state police officers to seize property and other assets without proving a crime occurred caused outrage last fall.

The Equitable Sharing Program, which had taken in about $2 billion as of November, is meant to target drug dealers and has allowed law enforcement to pay for weapons, vehicles, and surveillance gear.

Another program, led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has officers stockpiling a database of Americans' license plates and driving habits.

Originally designed to fight the war on drugs, the program has expanded beyond the United States' border with Mexico and is being used to help track down other criminals.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
A new report details how the federal government seized more than $115,000 from a couple's business banking account before giving it back, and the agency is now refusing to pay for the $25,000 the couple spent in legal fees.
government, seizes, money, business
570
2015-12-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 07:12 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved