Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee urges federal government to return seized funds to Sowers family
Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of members from the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, led by Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) called upon the U.S. Treasury Department to return money that it seized from a Maryland family of dairy farmers.
Last spring, the subcommittee held a hearing examining civil asset forfeiture that revealed that many small business owners were having their bank accounts seized by the federal government without any form of due process, simply because of how they were depositing money.
The hearing concluded that such abuse of power has devastated these families. The Department of Justice has since announced that it will no longer pursue such cases unless it has reason to believe the deposits are somehow related to underlying criminal activity. While this policy change is welcome, some small businesses are still reeling from the seizures.
The committee members have submitted a letter asking the administration to return the money that rightfully belongs to Randy and Karen Sowers, the affected Maryland dairy farmers, as well as to return assets to all taxpayers whose bank accounts were seized in a way that conflicts with the new policy. Attorneys for the Sowers family have also filed a petition asking the federal government to return the Sowers’ funds immediately.