Federal prosecutors have agreed to return nearly $447,000 to a small business whose assets had been seized by the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department agents as part of the controversial civil forfeiture program.

In 2012, the IRS seized $446,651.11 from a Long Island convenience store distributor, Bi-County Distributors, and its owners, the Hirsch family, based on a pattern of cash deposits that had been deemed suspicious by federal agents. Federal law requires banks to report cash deposits larger than $10,000 to the IRS. Since the Hirsches frequently made deposits in amounts less than $10,000, the government claimed they were seeking to evade the reporting requirement.

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