The business operations of a drug dealer or a terrorist have little in common with a Maryland dairy farmer.
But in a bizarre business tale, the IRS in February 2012 seized nearly $63,000 from a pair of dairy farmers after a series of cash deposits came under scrutiny due to federal laws. Those rules were intended to target criminals including money launderers, who deposit large amounts of cash in increments of less than $10,000 to evade authorities.
In a prior settlement with the government, Randy and Karen Sowers, who own South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland, got back a portion of the seized money, around $33,500. Now in a new letter filed this week to the Justice Department, a nonprofit organization that has has been working with the farmers is helping in the fight to get back the rest of the couple's money — $29,500 — despite the prior settlement.
"We know the right thing to do would be to give this money back," says Robert Everett Johnson, an attorney at the Institute for Justice public interest law firm.