A federal court delivered a victory to a North Carolina convenience store owner from whom the IRS had seized $107,700, directing the government to reimburse him for more than $20,000 in legal fees and expenses.
Lyndon McLellan, who owns a convenience store in Fairmont, N.C., already had won back the $107,700 the Internal Revenue Service took from him in 2014.
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the federal government is required to pay McLellan’s legal fees, expenses and interest earned on the money the IRS seized in a case that could set a “powerful precedent” for victims of forfeiture fighting to be made whole.
“When the government takes people’s property without justification and then tries to walk away—what this decision really stands for is the idea that the government doesn’t get to put the cost of its mistake on the person who has done nothing wrong,” Robert Johnson, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice who represented McLellan, told The Daily Signal. Johnson added: