IRS Seizes Rural Convenience Store Owner’s Career Savings in Another Horrible Abuse of Civil Forfeiture [+video]

Photo Credit: Personal Liberty

Photo Credit: Personal Liberty

Lyndon McLellan, a rural North Carolina convenience store owner, woke up one day to discover the IRS had seized every penny of the $107,000 in his bank account. It was all the money he had put away over the course of 13 years of assiduous, hard work.

“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)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

  • Jeff Taylor

    So I expect the IRS to seize the assets of Circle K and every chain convenience store as well because as a former manager there were many days when I deposited $10,000 and up in cash. The IRS is a bully

  • Linda

    The IRS should be done away with. Everyone should pay a flat tax of no more than 10% . God only requires 10% so why should the government get more ?

    • danrsmith

      My thoughts exactly.

    • ChillyinAlaska

      Let’s start with 5% and see what that generates, just think of the savings if we could lay off tens of thousands of federal employees who would then have to go to work in the private sector and fight the illegal aliens for jobs, LIKE THE REST OF US!

      • Linda

        That is a good idea. I can think of a number of government agencies that need to be done away with. For starters, the AEA, IRS, & for sure the EPA. That should save a lot of money.

      • Dan Hyatt

        no just legalize pot with a tax…and use those federal employees as revenue agents chasing potheads.

        Same thing for “illegal aliens” add a 25% infrastructure tax to pay for thier medical and services paid by employer…and 10% for tuition for engineering, medicine, and business students. Now it is cheaper to hire US employees and chasing illegals is a revenue issue not a criminal issue. IRS has proved they are much better at collecting taxes than the cops are at stopping trafficking

    • Dan Hyatt

      flat tax is a good idea

  • Letitbe

    Everyone should stop paying all at once, business should all stop paying withholding taxes on their employees, people should stop paying quarterly estimated taxes, we all have to stop paying all at once. What are they going to do, they can’t enforce anything if we all stop. Take all your money out of the banks before you do, because the the banks are in with the government, crash the banks, crash the government and then we can all sit down and renegotiate what the hell is fair. Because this sure isn’t.

    • Jason B

      I have been saying this for quite sometime. The problem is Americans still aren’t pissed off enough to make the stand as a whole.

      • llred

        And they are afraid, with good reason. I agree that everybody should quit paying but when you have a nice home, car, money in the bank, and 2, 3 or more kids, it’s hard to do something you know will unleash the IRS on you.

  • “If you think we are free today, you know nothing about tyranny, and even less about freedom.”
    Tom Braun – Voice of Warning

    Thanks to Liberalism/ Democrat party-the elitist powers that be in both political party establishments that have grown govt so big and powerful, adding thousands upon thousands of regulations every year, is now so out of control, it is a defacto statist gestapo police state. No one is safe from it’s tyranny tentacles.

    “The principles of wealth creation transcend time, people, and place. Governments which deliberately subvert them by denouncing God, smothering faith, destroying freedom, and confiscating wealth have impoverished their people.”
     ~ U.S. President Ronald Wilson Reagan ~

  • ChillyinAlaska

    This is wrong, and federal employees involved in doing this should be charged with theft.

    • facebook is Dero

      or in other fashion ‘corrected’ locally where they reside. Every day is Halloween, trick or treat!

  • Mark

    Yea, right. Old man McLellan looks guilty to me. Probably selling cigarettes and beer out the back door – tax free.

    Seriously, reading a few of the comments, it would seem that the concept of not paying (or withholding) your taxes might be a drastic
    means towards tax reform. Also agree that there would be reluctance to so because of the misuse of ‘asset forfeiture laws and procedures’. I don’t have as much to lose as most but I, for one, would feel really bad if the IRS messed with my 401K.

    But remember this; there is safety in numbers. If enough citizens get serious, anything can happen. Take a look at the closing paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Wasn’t ‘taxation without representation’ one of the reasons that the colonies ceded from the English Crown? Wonder what our nation would look like if the signers didn’t stick together and pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor?

    ‘….We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. …’

  • Dan Hyatt

    Guess saving money is illegal now

  • Dan Hyatt

    Just think if we legalized marijuana….federal tax stamp…all those IRS agents collecting Billions a year in Pot Revenue like they do whiskey revenue….. empty the prison of potheads who sold or possessed pot or plants saving at minimum 40,000 a year per pothead in prison… they will also be paying taxes instead of taking tax money