Speed Reads

Show me the money

IRS returns woman's life's savings — but says they can take it back whenever they want

Earlier this year, an Iowa small business owner named Carole Hinders made national news when the IRS confiscated $33,000 — her entire life's savings — through civil asset forfeiture because she deposited less than $10,000 in the bank at a time. Now Hinders' money has been returned to her in full after the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nonprofit law firm, spent more than a year fighting to get it back.

But the victory could be short-lived: The IRS has reserved the right to re-seize the money at any time. Because Hinders was never charged with a crime and there was no trial, the matter isn't completely settled. "I actually wanted a trial, which would have cleared my name and helped to protect others," Hinders says, "but it is good to get the money back."

IJ attorney Larry Salzman commented, "The IRS should not be raiding the bank accounts of innocent Americans, and it should not take a team of lawyers more than 18 months to get it back when they do." Watch the initial report about the seizure of Hinders' savings below. --Bonnie Kristian