Roskam Moves Ahead on Asset Forfeiture Reform

A press release from Congressman Peter Roskam:

Roskam, Crowley Renew Effort to End Forfeiture Abuse

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Representatives Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY) are continuing their efforts to rein in asset forfeiture abuse.

As first reported by The Daily Beast, Roskam, who serves as Ways & Means Tax Policy Chairman, and Crowley, who chairs the Democratic Caucus, “introduced the RESPECT Act…which would limit the IRS’s ability to seize people’s money without first charging them with a crime.”

Peter Roskam at press conference on asset forfeiture.

As Chairman of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight during the last Congress, Roskam led a comprehensive investigation into Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) practices that led the IRS to change its policies and formally apologize to victims of forfeiture abuse.

This bill unanimously passed the House by a 415-0 vote late last year. U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are introducing companion legislation and expect swift consideration in the upper chamber.

Chairman Roskam released the following statement:

“It’s clear to everyone involved that there was rampant abuse in the forfeiture program. The IRS and DOJ abused their authority and took money from people who did nothing wrong. With today’s legislation, we’re making sure they can never do it again. With the support of so many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, we can finally put this ugly chapter to rest.”

Chairman Crowley released the following statement:

“Civil asset forfeiture may have begun as a tool to combat criminal activity, but it has morphed into a complex process that unfairly entangles innocent individuals. There is no question that the laws are deeply flawed and the process was riddled with abuse. I am proud to work with Congressman Roskam on this legislation.”


Last September, the House of Representatives voted 415-0 to unanimously pass the “Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers-RESPECT Act”. The bill was named for Andrew Clyde; Jeffrey, Richard, and Mitch Hirsch; and Randy Sowers – all small business owners victimized by forfeiture abuse.

In May, Chairman Roskam’s Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing on Protecting Small Businesses From IRS Abuse. Both Republicans and Democrats expressed outrage over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Justice (DOJ)’s actions to seize the bank accounts of law-abiding American citizens. Watch Chairman Roskam’s opening statement here and read the remarks here.

In June, under intense pressure from Congress, the IRS finally agreed to send letters to everyone from whom it had seized assets based on allegations of “structuring” cash deposits. These people, who had done nothing wrong, can finally get some or all of their money back.

Randy Sowers, a Maryland dairy farmer who testified at the May hearing, finally got his money back in July as a result of the Subcommittee’s work.


Roskam Moves Ahead on Asset Forfeiture Reform — 20 Comments

  1. How about we get rid of the institutionally corrupt IRS once and for all ?

    Problem solved – now and forever.

    Remember IRS chief Lois Lerner from the Obama era ?

    That’s reason enough.

    Q.) BTW, Why is she not in prison right now ?

    A.) Because she’s a DEMOCRAT.

  2. This is great news! Finally common sense is breaking through the chains of reckless abuse yielded by the DOJ.

    I just read where the DOJ takes more money from Americans than do all the burglars do, without charging them with a crime!

    This is insane, yet Pres. Trump is a big fan of this.

    About a month ago, Trump was with the police and one sheriff stated a politician was discussing repeal of the asset forfeiture laws.

    Trump said he wanted his name so he could ruin his career.

    We must stand together and support all politicians that rally to remove insane laws like these off the books.

    Nothing stinks more like fascism than asset forfeiture BEFORE a conviction is rendered.

    How is one expected to hire a defense attorney when the DOJ takes all your money before you are even charged with a crime?

    They don’t care, either does Trump.

    Please pray for the President.

  3. The IRS is a private corporation housed in Puerto Rico.

    It has NOHTHING to do with the government.

    Remove this scam “organization” completely!

  4. And the IRS was formed the same year as the FED, another private corp. Coincidence?

    I remember an interview the late Tim Russert had with then Pres. G. Bush.

    Tim asked George about the FED.

    George said “Don’t you know… I can’t talk about the FED.”

    Hillary scolded Trump during the campaign for talking about the FED.

    JFK wanted to end the FED, maybe that is why others are afraid to mention the greatest Ponzi scheme of all times…the FED and their cohorts, the IRS.

  5. IRS and Fed were started because our gov can’t manage smit.

    When talking about gov, bigger isn’t better more times than not.

  6. Yes Nob, that is why I believe in the little guy standing up and “…yelling from the rooftops”, or in these times, typing thoughts and beliefs on a keyboard that can be viewed around the world, even space, almost immediately and forever… now that is pretty awesome!

    That is why the creation of this blog is one of the most patriot measures a citizen can take.

    Cal and his associates have earned a good round of applause!

    But Freedom of Speech, as we know it here is the USA, is not allowed in many countries.

    This only allows corruption to flourish more than it does when the “little guy” gets a soapbox to express his freedoms.

    Suppression morphs into totalitarianism.

    I cherish this opportunity to express these conservative, compassionate, common sense ideas, based on researching history, while honoring the basic ideals of our forefathers and saints, and most of all, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Jesus implores us to take care of the poor, the needy, the imprisoned.

    Give without thought of reward.

    As I see it, one reason we have so many poor, needy and imprisoned is because Americans are suppressed in their GOD GIVEN ABILITY to grow rich from the most valuable plant on Earth.

    Instead, the suppressors allow tobacco to kill millions of people, just after draining all their resources into hospitals and “medicine” to help the patient live a little longer, sometimes.

    Weird thing is…not ONE candidate will discuss this remarkable way to “GROW TAX DOLLARS FROM HEMP”
    Never saw a segment on 60 minutes, CNN or ANY MSM outlet, print or otherwise.

    But it is true.

    American farmers are use to bad times, they come and go.

    Right now the US Farmer is facing huge losses due to overproduction with the hope of high gas/ethanol prices, plus the NAFTA reversal makes Brazil’s corn more attractive.

    I am TOTALLY AGAINST ethanol from corn, and the subsidies.

    Hemp, on the other hand, could be grown and used for ethanol, after the seeds are harvested for oil.

    Far more efficiently than corn, I must add.

    The “PROBLEM” for the suppressors is that hemp does not require weed killer or as much fertilizer to grow.

    Hemp is oil and cottons competition, plain and simple.

    We are slaves if we are not free to choose our energy and plant based medicine.

    Can someone try to explain the difference for arresting, jailing, trying, imprisoning an individual
    for possessing hemp, or the color of one’s skin, or religious belief, or…?

    I declare putting people in jail for hemp is no different than slavery.

    Let my people grow!

    The vote to mend the forfeiture law was unanimous, 415-0, I believe that the same vote would allow freedom to farm hemp when it comes to the floor. Why wait?

    The other problem is this, President Trump surrounds himself with billionaires who profit from hemps competition, namely casino owners, oil and banking giants, and maybe some who have investments in pharmaceuticals that would be obsolete once hemp based medicines are cheaply had.

    Pres Obama had 8 years to take action, but choose not to. Will Pres. Trump help the little guy?

  7. I’m with ya Gary…right up until the millions killed by tobacco. Now that is just an out and out lie. Do not repeat this falsehood propagated by government and anti tobacco. This was the first lie they engendered to get people to fight each other.
    Just a few

  8. Trump is not your enemy.

    Big pharma is! Corporations run the world.

    They are in the process of trying to take away everything natural.

  9. I agree Cindy, Pres. Trump is not my enemy.

    Greed, the love of money, is my enemy, for it is the root of ALL evil.

    If it were not for greed, society could be a paradise, for God provides all we need.

    Sadly, greedy politicians take contributions from greedy lobbyists to receive favor from greedy corporations that make profit from laws that enslave the “little guy.”

    I just found out Trumps advisor Kellyanne Conway, is deeply involved with tobacco corp. Philip Morris. While press secretary Sean Spicer’s wife is a bigshot in the beer industry.

    Is this part of the reason hemp will be repressed? Will all their money buy back their soul?

    There are more and more studies showing how hemp based medicines actually CURE CANCER, Could this be why it is illegal?

    If YOU care about the poor, sick and imprisoned, educate yourself about hemp for FUEL, FOOD, MEDICINE, FIBER.

    Fight greed with TRUTH!

  10. Yes, it is, Gary. Soft kill AND drain your wallet play their parts. That is the deep state. It is all about them. And yes, they are all going to Hell (money will not buy your way out of it).

  11. Anyone else feel like the guy in the back row, right side, looks?

  12. The IRS is a private corporation housed in Puerto Rico?

    How did you learn of this?

  13. This is a good start, but the IRS is not the only agency to abuse asset forfeiture.

    Some of the worst offenders are local police and sheriff’s departments.

    They buy new toys with the monies that they seize.

  14. Sorry Cindy

    The IRS is a government agency and is a division of the Department of the Treasury.

    Its budget is determined by Congress as part of Department of Treasury budget.

    And Lois Lerner and several others at the Cincinnati Campus should be in jail.

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