"Structuring," explains Overlawyered.com, "is the federal criminal offense of splitting up bank deposits so as to keep them under a threshold such as $10,000 above which banks have to report transactions to the government."
While being questioned, the Sowers were finally presented with a seizure order and advised that the feds had already emptied their bank account of $70,000. The Dept. of Justice has since sued to keep $63,000 of the Sowers' money, though they committed no crime other than maintaining their privacy.
Without funds, they will be unable to make purchases for the spring planting.
When a similar action was taken against Taylor's Produce Stand last year, the feds seized $90,000, dropped the charges and kept $45,000 of the stand's money.
Knowing that most farms operate on a very thin margin, such abuse of power wipes out a family's income, and for a bonus, the feds enhance the monopoly power of Monsanto, Big Dairy and their supply chain.
You can just smell attorney Michael Taylor behind all this, Obama's dairy dog. Who you'll find, instead, is US district attorney Stefan Cassella. He's the first to head the DOJ's Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, created in 2009, having wrote the books on it. He cut his teeth on seizing $1.2 billion from real money launderer, BCCI. Guess his focus has changed since then.
The Maryland Dept. of Agriculture had no trouble hitting up the Sowers for a recipe in its Buy-Local cookbook; but Cassella must've missed that public service, or it's what drew his attention – "Ah! A small dairy! Let's rob them of their cash, those evil Big Dairy competitors. They probably sell raw milk under the table. Even if we find no evidence of wrongdoing, we'll keep their money anyway." (Cue Curly's, "yuh, yuh, yuh.")
City Paper reports that in 2011, "Maryland brought 14 of the nation's 99 structuring cases, making it the top state for such prosecutions. Nationally, the numbers have been rising; the 2011 figures are up 8.8 percent from the year before and up 57.1 percent from five years ago."
Funny, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and other criminal banksters are still in operation, despite committing millions of acts of fraud during mortgage reassignations. But DOJ prioritizes squashing family farmers since it's easier to pick the low-hanging fruit than to do battle with well-financed criminals who've illegally seized the homes of millions of US citizens.
Former Maryland assistant U.S. attorney Steven Levin told the paper, "The emphasis is on basically seizing money, whether it is legally or illegally earned. It can lead to financial ruin for business owners, and there’s a potential for abuse here by the government."
The Bank Secrecy Act was passed after 9/11, another in a long line of Constitutionally-abhorrent laws enacted by officials who cannot prove they were elected to office (given those elections were held on electronic voting systems that can be hacked without leaving evidence of the crime).
With the current Administration's Agenda 21 focus on destroying the natural food and herb industry, is it not surprising to see Unconstitutional terrorist legislation used on innocent, law abiding citizens?
Another way to kill US farmers: Seize their bank accounts on phony charges