If you make several cash deposits of less than $10,000 you are presumed guilty and your assets can be seized.
Lyndon McClellan owns and operates L & M Convenience Mart in Fairmont, NC. One day last July more than a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement agents swarmed his business, showing him paperwork indicating that he had made two cash deposits totaling $11,400 within a 24-hour period in his bank account. They said that he had a history of "consistent cash deposits" of less than $10,000, which was a violation of the federal law against "structuring." They also informed him that the IRS had seized all of the $107,702.66 in L & M's bank account.
What Mr. McClellan did not know was that it is against the law to make several cash deposits of less than $10,000. Banks are legally obligated to report any deposit of more than $10,000 to the Treasury Department. If you make several cash deposits of less than $10,000 over an unspecified period of time that total more than $10,000, you are presumed to be a money launderer or drug trafficker.
If you are simply suspected –not convicted– of structuring, your bank account can be seized by the IRS under "civil asset forfeiture" laws. They have an incentive to invoke such laws because they can keep the assets and expand their activities without an appropriation from Congress. The IRS even "deputizes" state and local law enforcement agencies to go through bank "suspicious activities reports" in exchange for a cut of the loot subsequently seized by the IRS.
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