CBP Seizes $39K from Greek at Philadelphia Airport

U.S. Customs seized $39,000 worth of USD and Euro currency from a Greek man who, I am willing to bet, was attempting to take his money out of the de-stabalized Greek banking and political system and into the “safe haven” of the United States. Unfortunately for him, his money was seized before ever stepping foot outside the Philadelphia airport because he failed to report traveling with more than $10,000. He not only failed to report the currency, but he had it concealed within the pages of a book; which, due to the concealment, will give rise to allegations of bulk cash smuggling, which often makes it very hard to get money back even when legitimacy of source and use is proven. Here is the story:

Customs officers seized unreported currency totaling $39,657. You must report currency over 10,000 to customs.
Customs officers seized unreported currency totaling $39,657, much of it concealed within the pages of a hard-back book.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $39,657 in unreported currency, much of it concealed within the pages of a hard-back book, from a Greek man at Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday.

While roving among passengers who arrived from Athens, Greece, a CBP officer questioned the man about the total currency he possessed. The man verbally reported that he had $2,500 in U.S. dollars and 1,500 in Euros. He also wrote that amount on his declaration form and signed it.During a baggage examination, the CBP officer discovered a large sum of currency concealed in the book. A currency verification revealed that the man possessed $4,600 in U.S. dollars and 31,525 in Euros. The combined currency equaled $39,657 in equivalent U.S. dollars.

“Seizing a traveler’s currency is not a pleasant experience, but there are severe consequences for violating U.S. laws,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “We hope that this seizure is a lesson for all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to honestly report it all to a Customs and Border Protection officer.”

CBP officers provide travelers with multiple opportunities to truthfully report all of their currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements risk having their currency seized, and potentially face criminal charges. There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to complete financial reporting forms for any amount that exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

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.