Any customs lawyer will tell you that it’s better to get caught failing to report real currency than to get caught importing in counterfeit money. In this case, the law has served its intended purpose, as the following news release for a counterfeit currency seizure at JFK Airport in New York City clearly demonstrates
On February 21, 2014, CBP Officers selected [a traveler] for a random baggage examination [who] was returning from Lima, Peru and presented one checked suitcase for inspection. During the examination of his checked bag, the officer removed a cardboard diary box. The inside cover was sliced open revealing what appeared to be counterfeit U. S. $100 bills.
In total, $121,300 in counterfeit U. S. currency was concealed in one diary box, two wallets, one fabric box, and two cloth shoe racks. Mr. Rodriguez Ezeta was placed under arrest, and the counterfeit $100 bills were seized. The counterfeit currency and all evidence have been turned over to the Secret Service for further investigation, and [the individual will be] prosecuted by the U. S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District.
Based on these facts, it seems fairly clear that the person transporting the counterfeit currency knew it was counterfeit; I say that because of the concealment of the counterfeit currency in several places throughout his luggage. If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and many other places, and not just locally.