Did you know that the Department of Commerce has the legal power to place you in jail for failing to complete their BE-10 survey? This survey was first introduced and ratified by Congress in 1976, as a way for the Commerce Department to monitor the activities of the biggest U.S. businesses abroad. However, buried within the November 20, 2014 edition of the “Federal Register”, a new “law” came into force. As previously, civil action for non-compliance may be brought against you (with fines ranging from $2,500 to $25,000). However, the Commerce Department can now imprison you ”for not more than one year,” if they believe you deliberately avoided completing the survey.
This new rule was not ratified by Congress; it was brought in by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the Commerce Department, hidden away within hundreds of pages of other regulations.
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