U.S. Customs seized $19,050 from a U.S. citizen leaving for Lebanon at Dulles Airport on Monday using a currency detection dog. The seizure of $19,050, was mitigated on-site, meaning the passenger did not have to go through the petition process — with its inherent delays — to get the seized money back.
As far as I am aware, on-site mitigation is only available to those persons who are transporting less than $25,000, and who mis-report an amount that is 5% or less in variance with the actual amount being transported. I am not sure how this case qualified for on-scene mitigation because the mis-report was greater than 5%, but this gentleman should consider himself lucky.
Here is the FULL STORY, excerpted below:
The man was boarding a flight to Lebanon via Germany when he was identified by a CBP officer, working with his currency detection canine, as carrying a significant amount of currency. The man repeatedly declared $15,000 however; a total of $19,050 was discovered on his person and in his luggage. CBP officers seized the $19,050, assessed a $1,000 penalty for failure to properly report the currency, and returned $18,050 to the traveler.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “The traveler was given the opportunity to truthfully report his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”
If you have had currency seized from Customs do not try to respond yourself but hire our firm, because we know what we are doing and have successfully handled many cases like yours. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.