Lyndon McLellan with the Institute for Justice
Started 1 petition
Give back Lyndon McLellan's money.
I’ve spent years of my life running L & M Convenience Mart, a small gas station, restaurant and convenience store in rural Fairmont, North Carolina. I managed to build up a little savings, but then, about a year ago, agents from the IRS came to the store and announced that they had seized everything in my bank account, totaling more than $107,000. It took me 13 years to earn that money, but it took less than 13 seconds for them to take it away. I hadn’t done anything wrong, and the IRS never said that I’d committed a crime—much less charged me with one. The reason they took my money was because my niece, who handles my banking, deposited cash receipts from the store in the bank in amounts under $10,000. They called that “structuring.” My niece explained that a bank teller told her years ago that making small deposits would avoid unnecessary paperwork, but they weren’t interested. When I explained that I had tens of thousands of dollars in bills due at the end of the month, they shrugged their shoulders and left the store. A few months ago, when a Congressman asked the IRS Commissioner about my case, the Commissioner said “If that cases exists, then it’s not following the policy.” That’s because the IRS claims that it no longer uses a little-known legal tactic called “civil forfeiture” to take innocent Americans’ legally-earned money. When my attorney forwarded the IRS Commissioner’s statement to the prosecutor in the case, here’s how the prosecutor responded: "Whoever made [the document] public may serve their own interest but will not help this particular case. Your client needs to resolve this or litigate it. But publicity about it doesn’t help. It just ratchets up feelings in the agency. My offer is to return 50% of the money. The offer is good until March 30th COB." I’m not going to give the government a single penny—let alone 50 percent—because I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve teamed up with the Institute for Justice to fight the IRS and put an end to the illegal practice of using civil forfeiture to seize and keep millions of dollars from innocent Americans. I’m in this fight because I believe that Americans have a right to be free from arbitrary and unlawful seizure of their private property.