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Another Way to "Kill" Small US Farmers

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Michigan News page.

    In its latest move against small farmers who dare to operate outside the umbrella of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and Monsanto-dominated crops, the U.S. government has seized $70,000 from a small dairy farmer in Maryland. The feds did this under the "Bank Secrecy Act," which requires that paperwork be filled out for any cash deposit in excess of $10,000.

The farmers, Randy Sowers and his wife Karen, made deposits totaling more than $295,000 from May 2011 to February 2012, but each transaction was less than $10,000.

Now they are being accused of "structuring," a violation of federal currency reporting requirements, as the feds are accusing them of deliberately depositing money in increments of less than $10,000 in an attempt to evade Currency Transaction Reporting requirements.

Government Seizes $70,000 On What Grounds?

The dairy farmer's "crime" stems from his weekly sales at local farmers' markets. The sales averaged about the same amount each week and, dutifully, the Sowers deposited them. They'd reportedly never even heard of the Bank Secrecy Act or "structuring," but that was of no interest to the feds-the consistency of the amount the Sowers deposited, always less than $10,000, raised red flags to the feds, who claimed that this was indicative of a crime.  

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