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WashPost: IRS Refuses to Return $59K From Gas Station Owner, Army Veteran

Image: WashPost: IRS Refuses to Return $59K From Gas Station Owner, Army Veteran
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By    |   Tuesday, 17 October 2017 08:31 AM

The Internal Revenue Service has reportedly refused to return more than $59,000 seized in an investigation into a Maryland gas station owned by Oh Suk Kwon, who was a fleet mechanic in the U.S. Army. Government investigators seized the money but found no evidence that Kwon was guilty of any crime, according to The Washington Post.

The South Korean native became an American citizen and was a fleet mechanic in the U.S. Army. He bought a gas station in 2007 after he and his wife's children grew up and left home.

In 2011, government investigators accused him of "structuring," depositing money in increments of less than $10,000, based on a 1970 law, the Bank Secrecy Act, which orders banks to report any transactions larger than $10,000, the Post reported.

The bank seized his assets, the gas station went under, and Kwon's wife died amid the investigation, due to the stress of the situation, Kwon said.

He said that even if the IRS returned the money, the damage could not be repaired. He was shamed when the investigators interviewed his neighbors, he said.

"They saw me as a Korean. As a veteran. They were surprised to see me as a criminal. I will never forget that," Kwon said.

Following that law is a tactic that organized crime, terror groups, and money launderers use. Banks are supposed to report those who make multiple cash deposits in smaller amounts because that has the appearance of people trying to avoid notice, the Post reported.

Kwon, however, had paid taxes and filed all his reports properly. He made the smaller deposits on the advice of a bank teller who noted that smaller deposits meant less paperwork.

An IRS spokesman said that Kwon pleaded guilty to the structuring charge, according to the Post. 

The IRS changed its policy in 2014 so small businesses will not be treated in this manner, but it still will not return Kwon's money. He has asked for his money back multiple times but as recently as August, the IRS refused.

Attorney Edward Griffin is representing Kwon and said that the IRS's actions were "shameful."

"I firmly believe that the government did wrong in choosing to prosecute Mr. Kwon and seize his assets. There was no good policy purpose for the prosecution. They did it for money, and they destroyed a good and honest man," Griffin said, the Post reported. 

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The Internal Revenue Service has reportedly refused to return more than $59,000 seized in an investigation into a Maryland gas station owned by Oh Suk Kwon, who was a fleet mechanic in the U.S. Army.
us, irs, refuses, return money, gas station owner, army veteran
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2017-31-17
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 08:31 AM
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