THREE weeks ago we wrote about the plight of Terry Dehko and Sandy Thomas (pictured), grocers in Fraser, Michigan from whom the government seized $35,000. The charge was that they violated money-laundering rules by making cash deposits of less than $10,000. Prosecutors offered no evidence that they were, in fact, laundering money, or dodging taxes or committing any other crime. They simply made frequent small cash deposits, like many other small-business owners. For the Internal Revenue Service, that was enough.
On Friday the government announced that it was dismissing forfeiture claims against Mr Dehko and another small businessman from Detroit, and would return their money in full. Mr Dehko had previously been offered a 20% settlement; declining that may have been risky at the time, but it now looks wise. Welcome as this news is, it does not end the manifest Continue reading