After a year long battle, the federal government has returned the $107,702.66 that it took from Fairmont, N.C. convenience store owner, Lyndon McLellan, last year.
The case was dismissed more than a month before McLellan’s money was returned to him, and although the money that was taken has been returned, McLellan’s fight is not finished.
The trouble started when the IRS ceased his assets after he for years made numerous deposits under $10,000. These deposits were legal, unless McLellan was making those deposits to purposefully avoid the IRS scrutiny put on larger deposits —a practice known as “structuring,” then it would have been illegal. But McLellon and his lawyer maintained this was in no way his intention. He was making the smaller deposits because a bank teller had informed him that it involved less paperwork.
But even with his funds returned, the fight continues. According to a report by The Daily Signal, McLellan is now being forced to fight for even more funds that are rightfully his, that the government is holding. Under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, a property owner who prevails is entitled to have fees and expenses covered by the government, but the government is refusing him such coverage.
McLellan hired a lawyer which cost him over $20,000, but the government is denying the responsibility to cover this expense, claiming that because the IRS had probable cause to seize McLellan’s money, they will not be held responsible for such costs.
Also, when money is seized by the government it is kept in an interest-bearing account. McLellan is entitled to the interest that was earned on his more than $100,000, but the government is working to keep the interest that was earned on McLellan’s money.
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