No report on abuse of power
To the editor:
Disturbing events at work in Fraser, Michigan, where the government seized $35,000 from a mom-and-pop store. The owners walked across the street to their bank occasionally, but almost always with less than $10,000, the maximum their insurance would cover if it was stolen.
The authorities cited a law against money-laundering by structuring deposits under the $10,000 threshold that the banks have to report to the government.
Under civil forfeiture, the government can take property merely on suspicion of a crime.
There was no evidence they were money-laundering, they were not convicted of anything, and they have no disputes with the IRS. The government has offered to give 20 percent of their money back.
Probably the government got used to taking mansions and yachts from Miami drug-dealers, and now have their sights set on lesser targets. The owner of a motel in Massachusetts recently won it back from the government after it was taken because a guest there had been arrested for drug offenses.
I read about these incidents in The Economist, a magazine printed in London.
Why aren’t the US media informing us of these abuses of power?
George David Mendenhall