The Government accused Justin Smith of violating Federal Excise tax laws in his Jet airplane leasing company
– Case Description
The Government accused Justin Smith of violating Federal Excise tax laws in his Jet airplane leasing company. They also falsely accused him of destroying records. He was raided three times, and the Government refused to share the affidavits used to support the raids.
In the landmark opinion United States v. Sealed Search Warrants, 868 F.3d 385 (5th Cir. 2017), the 5th Circuit joined the 4th Circuit, and the Government was ordered on February 2, 2018, to turn over the three affidavits in Justin Smith’s case.
Nothing in any of the affidavits indicated that bank records were being destroyed. The Government’s claim was walked back to argue that “records were moved.” There was no evidence of Tax violations found in the affidavits.