“This is all I’ve ever done. I was raised in the store business; I’m here 12-13 hours a day, seven days a week,” he explains. “To make this kind of money selling soft drinks, cigarettes and hot dogs, somebody’s gotta work, okay? It wasn’t just handed to us. It was taken from us – but it wasn’t handed to us.”
McLellan hasn’t been accused of a crime. The IRS just seized his money. And even though the IRS announced it was changing its civil forfeiture policy in October of last year – a result of growing public outcry in opposition to the practice – it didn’t relent in McLellan’s case, which predated the announcement by a few months.
For years, McLellan had been making periodic cash deposits into his account. The federal government requires that bank customers fill out a currency transaction report to document any single deposit in excess of $10,000. But McLellan had been depositing his earnings in increments beneath that threshold – for more than a decade.
The IRS had, until its policy change last year, exercised its own discretion in invoking its power of civil asset forfeiture against these smaller depositors. The spirit of the forfeiture law, as it applies to McLellan’s case, assumes that he was sitting on a stack of currency but elected to deposit it in small increments to avoid the government’s reporting requirements. (Read more from “IRS Seizes Rural Convenience Store Owner’s Career Savings in Another Horrible Abuse of Civil Forfeiture” HERE)