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DHS Seizes a Guy’s Boat For NOT LYING

Home - by - February 23, 2013 - 11:55 America/New_York - 13 Comments

Then she seized the boat. As in, demanded that we get off the boat, demanded the keys and took physical control of it.

What struck me the most about the situation is how excited she got about seizing the boat. Like she was just itching for something like this to happen. This was a very happy day for her.


I live a fairly simple life and that didn’t change much after I sold TechCrunch in 2010. I didn’t buy a new house or even a new car. The one thing I did splurge on was a boat.

Nothing too fancy or large. I live near Seattle and there’s a big boating culture up here. I found a small company that builds boats specifically for this area called Coastal Craft. I ordered it in 2011 and planned on writing about the experience after it was delivered.

I named her Buddy. It has state of the art electronics and a fairly new highly efficient propulsion system that the TechCrunch audience would be interested in.

Today was the day that Buddy was going to be delivered. That didn’t happen, because the Department of Homeland Security seized the boat.

Buddy has to clear customs, part of the DHS, since she was built in Canada.

My job was to show up and sign forms and then leave with Buddy (WA sales tax and registration fees come a week later).

DHS takes documents supplied by the builder and creates a government form that includes basic information about the boat, including the price.

The primary form, prepared by the government, had an error. The price was copied from the invoice, but DHS changed the currency from Canadian to U.S. dollars.

It has language at the bottom with serious sounding statements that the information is true and correct, and a signature block.

I pointed out the error and suggested that we simply change the currency from US $ to CAD $ so that is was correct. Or instead, amend the amount so that it was correct in U.S. dollars.

I thought this was important because I was signing it and swearing that the information, and specifically the price, was correct.



  1. AvgDude

    February 23rd, 2013

    Those agents were nothing but thieving c__ts with badges. Screw the government. They will continue to treat law abiding people like the enemy because they’re too goddamn cowardly to take on real crime, or the government agents themselves are the criminals.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +15

  2. Anonymous

    February 23rd, 2013

    Next thing you know, every signed form is meaningless and we end up with a mortgage crisis and a financial meltdown……..

    Thumb up +9

  3. thirdtwin

    February 23rd, 2013

    Last night, I stopped by Little Seizure’s Pizza to pick up a couple of pies. I gave the cashier a ten and a one to cover the $10.70 bill. Then, I made a mistake. I asked her to break a twenty into two tens after she completed the pizza transaction. She froze up for a second, then called her manager over, because she somehow thought she would end up ten dollars short if she broke the twenty. Keep in mind that she did not even have the twenty in her possession yet…thank god.

    Her manager was equally flummoxed, so I said, ” You know what? Just give me my change and don’t worry about breaking the twenty.” It took about a minute before the two of them determined that it was OK to hand over my 30 cents. I have no doubt that if she had had my twenty in hand, it would have taken a herculean effort to get it back.

    From top to bottom, we are bedeviled by a tyranny of ignorance.

    Thumb up +9

  4. Tony R

    February 23rd, 2013

    The DHS agent was trying to set him up whatever he did for the “crime” of being “rich”. Welcome to Obama land. The only justice here would be if Mr. Boat owner voted for Obumbles like most knuckleheads in Seattle.

    Thumb up +6

  5. RD in Texas

    February 23rd, 2013

    Following the link, it’s interesting the general consensus of the commentators is that the problem is with DHS. What is it about the liberal mindset that prevents them from grasping the concept? The problem is not with the branch of the government. The problem is the entire tree of government. Human nature will always seek greater power. Being an elected official or a bureaucrat doesn’t change this fact.

    Thumb up +7

  6. Ohio Dan

    February 23rd, 2013

    Bring charges or start an investigation of the agent for attempting to commit fraud against the government. The best defense is a good offense.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +14

  7. yourfavoriteunkle

    February 23rd, 2013

    The DHS doesn’t like it when you make waves….(pun intended)

    Thumb up +2

  8. Lowell

    February 23rd, 2013

    What a pussy. Not no way, not no how. He has no imagination and not a vestige of a spine.

    I don’t care if it was a six foot five agent, they ain’t getting the keys without beating me unconscious. You fuckers are just encouraging the assholes.

    I’ve gotten in trouble with government functionaries before. Probably will again. Fuck ‘em when I’m right.

    Thumb up +4

  9. Anonymous

    February 23rd, 2013

    Ohio Dan +5

    Thumb up +3

  10. Cruisin Cat

    February 23rd, 2013

    What is it going to take for such abuses to cease?
    Will it be necessary for rogue agents such as these to start ‘disappearing’, ala “Unintended Consequences?”

    Thumb up +3

  11. Shiite from Shinola

    February 23rd, 2013

    “I named her Buddy”

    There’s your problem right there, “Buddy” is a guy’s name.

    That, and DHS are just a bunch of assholes.

    Thumb up 0

  12. Brian

    February 24th, 2013

    Let me tell you how indignant the public gets about rich people problems. My yacht is held up at Customs! Boohoo, right?

    In my former duties, I had to import pleasurecrafts into the US so I have some familiarity. Everything has to match and there are ample opportunitues for screwups. From the manufacturer, the shipper, the broker and even the documentation service which he should have had one in this instance. The amounts on the bill of sale matching the bills of lading prior to being shipped and whatnot.

    However, this story has developed as someone claiming to work for DHS came into his comment thread to attack him with knowledge of his case and to unsully their reputation. Very unprofessional.

    Thumb up 0

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