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LAWRENCE BROWN: Federal asset forfeiture refers to the federal government's ability to take and then after jumping through certain procedural hoops keep assets that are the fruit of illegal activity or that were used to commit a crime.
Businesses, individuals, and financial institutions have the obligation to report to the Department of Treasury any currency transaction in excess of $10,000. It's a federal crime to deliberately breakup a currency transaction larger than $10,000 into smaller less-than-$10,000 increments in order to avoid the transaction reporting requirement. The IRS has task forces in every major metropolitan areas that are working closely with financial institutions using software and other investigative techniques to identify transactions that are deliberately broken down to avoid that reporting requirement.
If your property's been taken by the federal government, don't wait to seek counsel. Your ability to get your property back depends upon meeting certain deadlines and following appropriate procedures. You may say things to the government in seeking to get your property back that could expose you to criminal prosecution or could be used against you in a criminal case.
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