'Punishment First, Charges Later?': Judge Nap Slams IRS Seizing Legal Bank Accounts
As if the Internal Revenue Service wasn’t facing enough controversy with its alleged targeting of conservative groups, now the IRS is being accused of confiscating the bank accounts of small businesses and innocent Americans with no warrant or charges.
Disturbing figures from the Institute for Justice show that in 2012 the IRS made 639 seizures, up from 114 in 2005, while only one in five of those seizures led to prosecution of a criminal case.
The average amount seized? $34,000.
On Fox and Friends this morning, Judge Andrew Napolitano said the law in question – which was designed to catch drug traffickers and terrorists – allows the government to go after law-abiding business owners under the mere presumption of structuring, making deposits under $10,000 to avoid reporting the money to the IRS.
"This is like 'Alice in Wonderland,'" Judge Nap said. "Punishment first, charges later? That's not what the Constitution stands for."
He added that the IRS's recent announcement that it will curtail the practice and focus on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally is an acknowledgement that the organization knows many of these seizures were of money that was acquired through legal means.
"Why do they do it? Because they can! Because Congress gave them the power to do it," Judge Nap said. "That power is awful. It's unconstitutional and Congress should take it back."
Watch the clip above.