A convenience store owner who had his entire bank account seized under an Internal Revenue Service policy meant to target drug dealers and money launderers will be repaid in full, his lawyer told CNBC on Friday.
Khalid "Ken" Quran has been fighting for months to have more than $150,000 returned from the IRS with the help of Washington-based nonprofit public interest firm The Institute for Justice.
Quran, a Middle Eastern immigrant, says he unknowingly forfeited his entire bank account in June 2014 to agents who visited his Greenville, North Carolina, store, accusing him of skirting reporting laws.
The business owner had been making withdrawals of less than $10,000 regularly, and drew a red flag for potential "structuring," a tactic used by criminals who break up their banking transactions to evade authorities. Transactions over the $10,000 threshold must be reported, and these rules intended to target criminals have been applied in some cases in recent years to small-business owners who operate mostly in cash.
"He said, 'You need to sign a paper,' and I told him my English is not right," Quran told CNBC. "Then he read it to me like you would read the newspaper and said you need to sign it."
Quran said he did nothing wrong. "No bank told me that. No bookkeeper told me that," he said.