When CBP seizes money it is subject to forfeiture. Typically, Customs sends a letter notifying all interested persons that the property has been seized, is subject to forfeiture, and some options for getting seized money back (not all options, by the way). If administrative remedies to get seized money back are not successful, publication of a notice of forfeiture is made by CBP.
Publication of a notice of intent to forfeit used to be done in newspapers, until the government wised up and made a website specifically to give notice of forfeitures. So now, notices of seizure and intent to forfeit are published at www.forfeiture.gov, and depending on the Port involved, usually occurs about once each week.
The property listed in those notice of seizure and intent to forfeit is what no one wants (abandoned), no one knows about (lack of actual service of notice of seizure by mail), or which they could not successfully get back administratively (they could not provide they had a right to it, or it was somehow illegal).
In CBP Detroit’s April 15 notice of seizure, there’s a total of $64,480 up for potential forfeiture for failure to report, money laundering, fraudulent identification documents, and fraudulent account access devices.
- 2015380200017901-001-0000, Seized on 07/11/2015; At the port of PORT HURON, MI; U.S. CURRENCY RETAINED; 846; EA; Valued at $64,480.00; For violation of
We recently opened an office location in Chicago better serve those who’ve had money seized at O’Hare airport. The notices for Chicago do not appear to be for failure to report, bulk cash smuggling, or structuring though. But Chicago’s April 15th notice of seizure and intent to forfeit has a total of $1,525,176 up for forfeiture.
- 2016390100014001-005-0000, Seized on 11/10/2015; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; US CURRENCY; 2,150; EA; Valued at $34,445.00; For violation of 21USC881,19USC1595A(A)21USC841,21USC846
- 2016390100028101-002-0000, Seized on 12/16/2015; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; U.S. CURRENCY; 1,183; EA; Valued at $32,390.00; For violation of 18USC981,18USC1956
- 2016390100042101-001-0000, Seized on 01/27/2016; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; BULK USC; 12,476; EA; Valued at $259,935.00; For violation of 18USC981,18USC1956
- 2016390100049101-001-0000, Seized on 02/09/2016; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; BULK USC; 28,092; EA; Valued at $625,080.00; For violation of 18USC981,18USC1956
- 2016390100067201-001-0000, Seized on 04/09/2016; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; U.S. CURRENCY; 5,926; EA; Valued at $99,969.00; For violation of 18USC981,21USC881,19USC1956
- 2016390100067301-002-0000, Seized on 04/09/2016; At the port of CHICAGO, IL; U.S. CURRENCY; 22,853; EA; Valued at $473,357.00; For violation of 18USC981,21USC881,18USC1956
$1.5 million is, to most folks, a lot of money. To the government, it might be a drop in the bucket or a digit to the right of a decimal point in the budget. But whether government, rich, or poor every can agree — any little bit of cash helps. If no one files a claim and wins a portion of the seized money back, it will go to the government to support its operations.