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What to Do: Staying in Compliance with the Department of Justice and the IRS

** This is the seventh and final blog entry in a series - All You Need to Know about the Government & Asset Forfeiture**

First step is to quit setting yourself up for a potential problem. Businesses and individuals need to be sure to conduct deposit and withdrawal activity with an eye toward compliance with CTR requirements. They need to avoid even the appearance of structuring transactions. Making deposits in a consistent pattern, such as the same day[s] every workweek is helpful. Making $10,000+ deposits that trigger a CTR is a huge way to nullify an agent's seizure grounds. In other words, don't avoid the CTR requirement.

By far the most important is to seek legal representation if you fail to comply or think you may have failed to comply with the government's policies. There are legitimate legal defenses to structuring, particularly by challenging the government's ability to prove the requisite mental state of willfulness on the part of the depositor or withdrawer. However, such defenses require sophisticated expert investigation and legal advocacy. More importantly, you may be the target of a criminal prosecution compounding your crisis. There are other avenues for defense in a forfeiture action that also require sophisticated representation such as the presentation of an innocent ownership defense or the demonstration of legitimate income. However, such defenses require strong, thoughtful legal assistance. Therefore, if you are confronted with a situation such as this, it is imperative that you hire an attorney with specific expertise in the archaic and complex field of asset forfeiture law.

Besides the fact that forfeiture statutes are based upon arcane precepts of admiralty and customs juris prudence, Congress imposes significant time limits for persons or companies to challenge a seizure or forfeiture. If the government has seized money from one or more of your personal or business accounts, you have a very short period of time to file a claim and request a judicial resolution to your dilemma. If you don't make a timely claim, the government gets the seized property without a fight. 

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