Tuesday, August 07, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] If you run a family farm or other small business in which you regularly make large cash deposits at the bank, you could be in violation of a little-known federal law called the Bank Secrecy Act. Making regular cash deposits of any amount, in fact, could land you in the crosshairs of government tyrants who, according to CBN News, have already seized tens of thousands of dollars from family farmers whose only “crime” was depositing their hard-earned cash in their bank accounts.
When it was first passed by the U.S. Congress back in 1970, the Bank Secrecy Act was intended to combat money laundering and other criminal activity by identifying so-called suspicious depositing activity. This law requires financial institutions to keep rigorous documentation of all individual cash deposits exceeding $10,000, which is considered to be suspicious, and submit this information to federal authorities. (http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/bsa/)
Many criminals; however, allegedly began trying to evade this law by spreading out their individual cash deposits to numerous bank accounts in order to keep them below $10,000, which prompted the federal government to amend the law to prohibit individuals from so-called “structuring” their deposits. Anyone who deposits even moderately-sizable sums of cash, in other words, becomes a potential target under this unreasonably vague and all-inclusive law.
Federal government actively stealing thousands of dollars from American farmers
This is where the Sowers and Taylor families, both of Maryland, come into the picture. According to CBN News, both families operate small farms in Maryland, and both regularly make cash deposits at the bank. Both families were also recently targeted by the Feds for simply following the advice of bank tellers who advised them to avoid laborious paperwork by spreading out their individual cash deposits in order to keep them below the $10,000 threshold.
In the Sowers’ case, business at their independent dairy farm, South Mountain Creamery, has been doing so well in recent years that cash flow began to creep up into the “suspicious” territory. Randy Sowers, owner of South Mountain Creamery, decided to take the advice of his local bank and spread out his deposits in order to keep them below $10,000. As far as Sowers was concerned, there was nothing illegal or wrong about cooperating with his bank’s counsel.
But in February of this year, federal officials targeted Sowers and his farm, and in the process seized roughly $70,000 in financial assets. In the end, Sowers decided to simply settle the case with the government rather than contest it, and like a pack of ruthless pirates, the government agents that targeted Sowers decided to keep $30,000 of his money for absolutely no reason.
An almost identical situation occurred on the other side of Maryland to the Taylor family, which had $90,000 of its hard-earned cash seized by government officials. Like the Sowers, the Taylors spread out their deposits in accordance with their bank’s advice, and became a target for potential criminal activity. Even though the Taylors committed no crime, federal thieves ended up keeping about $45,000 of the Taylor’s earnings that had been seized.
“We found out since that there’s a lot of other people this has happened to, but they all just kind of crawled into a hole and didn’t say anything,” Sowers is quoted as saying to CBN News about this massive government theft racket. “And then the government can go ahead and get away with it because nobody says anything.”
Most ordinary Americans, including farmers, do not have the financial resources to fight government tyranny, so they simply accept it
Sowers says he tried to fight back against the ridiculous charges levied against him, as his cash deposits were clearly not in violation of a law that is intended to target actual criminals like money launderers and drug dealers. But because of the enormous expense involved in fighting back, Sowers decided to simply settle rather than seek justice. And many others like him, including the Taylors, have reportedly taken a similar route as litigious dealings can be unbearably costly and time-consuming.
As far as the Bank Secrecy Act is concerned, the federal government is now openly abusing this law to tyrannize honest, hard-working Americans. In mob fashion, these federal kingpins are taking advantage of every possible opportunity to shake down farmers, small business owners, and others who make cash deposits, accusing them of violating a skewed law that technically every person could be conceived as violating on a regular basis.
“It’s so broad now that they can criminalize anyone,” said Liz Reitzig, co-founder of the Farm Food Freedom Coalition (FFFC) and visionary behind the Raw Milk Freedom Riders campaign (http://www.naturalnews.com/033904_raw_milk_Freedom_Riders.html), to CBN News about the Bank Secrecy Act. “(These farmers) are providing economic prosperity to their rural communities. They’re creating jobs. They are producing something for the American economy. And they’re the ones who are targeted.”
Be sure to read the full CBN News report on the Sowers and the Taylors here: http://www.cbn.com