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Roskam calls DOJ abuse of civil asset forfeiture "indefensible' and "shameful'

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Location: Washington, DC

Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL), joined his colleagues on the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee to question representatives from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on their abuse of civil asset forfeiture.

Representative Roskam discovered that while the IRS recommended DOJ return funds to taxpayers for 76% of the petitions received, DOJ chose to return funds in only 16% of cases. During the hearing, Rep. Roskam took the DOJ to task for refusing to return the seized assets of small business owners with no criminal background, calling it "indefensible' and "shameful.'

"I think the way the Department of Justice has approached this is not admirable… You're defending something that is indefensible and the notion that people at DOJ have this kind of power and this kind of discretion and can run roughshod over innocent people and basically get stiff-armed and say, "Well, you pled guilty and now we're going to use your guilty plea against you, even though we manipulated a guilty plea,' that's shameful," said Roskam.


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