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Theft by any other name

The IRS seized more than $17 million from innocent business owners over a two-year period using obscure anti-money laundering rules and civil asset forfeiture, compromising the rights of individuals and their businesses, a government watchdog has found.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report Tuesday detailing how, between 2012 and 2014, IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits. In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal. The report also found that investigators violated internal policies when conducting interviews, failed to notify individuals of their rights, and improperly bargained to resolve civil cases.

     — C.J. Ciaramella, IRS Seized $17 Million From Innocent Business Owners Using Asset Forfeiture

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