CBP Seizes $180k at Mexican Border

While most of our currency seizure clients are have their money taken from customs at an airport, we occasionally represent people who have had their money seized at a border crossing, such as the Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. In this story from CBP, Customs seized nearly $200,000 from a man traveling to Mexico by car. This sounds like a classic case of bulk cash smuggling, and is no doubt the reason for the seizure.

In this case, we could give the man the benefit of the doubt and presume the legitimate source is an inheritance from his rich Uncle; and the intended use, perhaps he was paying cash for a nice place on the Yucatan (we’ve handled stranger cases). If we assume he proves these two things, then this situation was completely avoidable. But now, even if criminal charges are ultimately not filed or if he is ultimately found not guilty of a crime, he will still face civil forfeiture of the money and, if he wants it back, will have to fight for its return administratively, or in the courts.

Here’s the story (full version here):

Wood table filled with $180,000 dollars seized by the CBP.
Wood table filled with $180,000 dollars seized by the CBP on Oct. 14 after CBP officers working outbound inspections at the Hidalgo-Reynosa.

The seizure occurred on Oct. 14 after CBP officers working outbound inspections at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge referred a white 2001 Honda Civic for a secondary inspection. An inspection of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of several bundles of U.S. currency totaling $185,173 that was concealed within the Civic. CBP OFO seized the currency and the vehicle as well.

CBP OFO arrested the man who were [sic] subsequently released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.

Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today (you can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case