Freedom Flix

Out of control Feds raid family grocery store’s checking account over innocent bank deposits

 

 

The government should not be able to use civil forfeiture to take money from people who have done nothing wrong.  And yet, that is exactly what is happening to Terry Dehko, the hardworking owner of Schott’s Supermarket, a small grocery store in Fraser, Michigan.  He has run the store for more than 30 years with his daughter, Sandy Thomas.

Earlier this year, without warning, the federal government seized the store’s entire bank account—more than $35,000—and refuses to give it back. The government falsely accused Terry and Sandy of breaking anti-money-laundering laws by making frequent bank deposits of their store’s cash receipts.  But they did nothing illegal and have been charged with no crime.  In July, the government filed a lawsuit to keep the money, not against Terry and Sandy but against the cash itself, which is why the case has the bizarre title of United States v. $35,651.11.

Federal civil forfeiture law features an appalling lack of due process: there is no way to quickly get a ruling from a neutral decisionmaker about the validity of the government’s seizure, and therefore Terry and Sandy must do battle in federal court against the U.S. Department of Justice to prove themselves innocent and get their money back.  Shockingly, the money taken by the government will be used to fund the budgets of the very federal agencies that seized the money in the first place.

On September 25, 2013, Terry and Sandy teamed up with the Institute for Justice to fight back.  A victory for Terry and Sandy will vindicate not just their right to be free from abusive forfeiture tactics, but the right of every American not to have their property taken from them by government when they have done nothing wrong.

Read more

 

Embed on your site:




Freedom Flix

The Institute for Justice is always looking for new ways to promote the message of freedom. To that end, IJ produced the following videos in-house to tell the stories of our clients and their fight for individual liberty.

None of this — the cases or these videos — would be possible without the continued generosity of our donors. We hope you enjoy them and share them with those who need a little inspiration.

Subscribe to our videos via iTunes or YouTube.


   The Forfeiture Machine Turns Cops into Robbers (3:50)
The most terrifying place in Philadelphia is Courtroom 478 in City Hall. This is where property owners enter Philadelphia’s Civil Forfeiture Machine.
   Gov't grabs elderly man's home; won't give reason (4:10)
New Jersey’s CRDA is trying to use eminent domain to seize Charlie Birnbaum's property as part of a “mixed-use development” project. The trouble is that CRDA has no concrete plans to do anything in particular with it.
   The Top 6 Craziest Things Cops Spent Forfeiture Money On (1:07)
Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property suspected of involvement in criminal activity.
   Behind the Scenes of the Caswell Forfeiture Victory (5:58)
Last January, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a civil forfeiture action against the Motel Caswell, a family-run motel in Tewksbury, handing a complete victory to owners Russell and Patricia Caswell.
   Out of control Feds raid family grocery store’s checking account over innocent bank deposits (1:45)
Government bullies are taking the little guy's milk money.
   Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights (7:32)
Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property rights in our nation today.  Law enforcement can take your property without even charging you with a crime. According to reports from the Institute for Justice, law enforcement..
   POLICING FOR PROFIT: Feds try to take innocent elderly couples' Mom-and-Pop motel (2:47)
Seeking to circumvent state law and cash in on the profits, the Tewksbury Police Department is working with the U.S. Department of Justice to take and sell the Caswells property because a tiny fraction of people who have stayed at the Motel Caswell...
   If a Police Dog "Alerts," Should You Lose Your Cash, Car and Other Property? (2:42)
IJ attorneys Darpana Sheth and Scott Bullock explain IJ's new amicus brief about civil forfeiture. Learn more at this link: http://www.ij.org/l-l-10-12-ij-amicus-brief-alerts-high-court-to-abuse-of-civil-forfeiture-using-drug-dogs
   EPIC EMINENT DOMAIN BATTLE: Inner-City Kids, Boxing Gym Fight Back (4:51)
A San Diego-area boxing gym that serves at-risk kids is showing what it takes to fight for what is right and to win. The Community Youth Athletic Center (CYAC) is fighting to keeps it's gym from land-hungry developers bent on eminent domain for private ga
   Scorched Earth: Eminent Domain Abuse in the Gardens of Mount Holly (6:57)
The township of Mount Holly, N.J., has been systematically destroying the Gardens—a close-knit community of over 300 garden-style row homes—for the past decade. Officials want to hand the property over to Keating Urban Partners, for luxury townhomes and a
   Kelo: Five Years Later (3:51)
   Policing for Profit - The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture (2:30)
If police suspect that you committed a crime, they can arrest you and put you on trial. But if police suspect your car was involved in a crime, they can take it, sell it and, in most places, pocket the proceeds to pad their budgets.
   San Tan Flat & The Fight Against Arbitrary Government Power (3:07)
   Lori Ann Vendetti & Property Rights (4:29)
   The Story of Susette Kelo (11:00)
   The Story of Randy Bailey (9:10)

Email Address
Please enter a valid email address
Share

Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
© 1997-2014