Lady luck, like fortune, is fickle. This man’s luck — and his casino winnings — disappeared at the border when he encountered Customs, who confiscated his winnings.
The guy had some cash from casino winnings confiscated by Customs while gambling in the Bahamas. He was en route to the United States, when he decided to break the law. Apparently fearing the unknown, he decided to divide the money up among 5 people so he would not have to file a currency report.That’s illegal structuring.
When Customs asked him why he divided up the money, he said it was so he did not have to file a currency report (FinCen 105). That’s an admission of illegal structuring. Law enforcement didn’t have to do any other work to confiscate casino winnings or hard earned money if you admit you violated the law.
Here are the details of the case of the “casino winnings” confiscated by Customs:
Nassau, BAHAMAS –U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nassau CBP Preclearance facility seized $63,851 in unreported currency from a U.S. citizen who was subsequently arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Dec. 8.
CBP officers at the Nassau Preclearance facility referred five male U.S. citizens for a secondary inspection after they each declared to be in possession of $9,000 U.S. dollars. Three men were en route to JFK and two men were en route to Newark.
Upon further questioning, one of the passengers admitted that he divided about $52,000 among his co-travelers in an attempt to circumvent currency reporting requirements. CBP officers were informed that the passengers’ currency was the result of legal casino winnings in the Bahamas. During the secondary inspection, CBP officers determined that the passenger who won the money in the casino also failed to declare the purchase of an $8,000 watch for which duty was assessed and collected.CBP officers seized a total of $63,851 in unreported currency.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers provided this traveler multiple opportunities to accurately report all of his currency,” said Area Port Director for Nassau Preclearance Robert Allen Smith. “He ultimately admitted that he had divided his currency among his friends in an attempt to circumvent the law, and all of his currency was seized. The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer.”
The RBPF was notified of the false declaration and responded with interest to prosecute. The circumventing passenger was arrested by RBPF upon the conclusion of CBP seizure processing. RBPF took custody of the passenger and the evidence. The remaining four individuals were released without further incident.
So that it is, Customs confiscated the cash and then turned him over to the Royal Bahamas’ Police Force for prosecution. This is all the more of a sad story because there is nothing illegal about winning some money while gambling, and nothing illegal about bringing it into the United States. It’s very likely that this man could get the money out of Customs custody, but of course, he’ll still have to deal with the criminal charges from the RBPF.
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