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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Federal charges never filed, man gets back money from seizure

It's taken several months, but a business owner in Fairmont, North Carolina, will finally get his $107,702.66 that was seized by police in July 2014. The man was also seeking to be reimbursed $20,000 in legal and accountant fees.

The man owns L&M convenience store in Fairmont. The crime in which he was accused was that he intentionally broke up his business deposits so that they would be under the $10,000 threshold where they have to be reported to the government. The civil forfeiture policy allowed the police to seize the man's life savings. The business owner never faced any charges, but it was up to him to prove that there was no crime committed in order for him to get his money back.

The man said that his niece was told by a teller at the bank that if they made deposits over $10,000, there would be a lot of paperwork. To avoid this, his niece made sure the deposits were less than $10,000.

The Institute for Justice represented the man, producing photos, videos and press releases to get his story out across the nation. About two weeks after that information went public, the government sought to have the case dismissed voluntarily. It was finally dismissed for good on Feb. 2.

The Internal Revenue Service has changed its policy on civil forfeiture. That happen about two months before the complaint was filed in federal court.

Just because charges are filed does not mean you committed a crime. This includes federal charges. If you believe you have been wrongly accused, an attorney can begin building your case against the charges.

Source:, "Judge dismisses IRS case against local businessman," Sarah Willets, Feb. 04, 2016

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