CBP Takes $230K in Unreported Cash in Texas

U.S. Customs seized almost $230,000 from a U.S. citizen leaving the United States. This is a different scenario from the usual airport currency seizure case we handle. In this instance, it appears that the people transporting (smuggling). To get the seized money back from Customs this person would need to show that the cash came from a legitimate source, had a legitimate intended use, and file a petition, make an offer in compromise, or file a claim. You shouldn’t decide whether to file a petition, make an officer in compromise, or file a claim until you’ve consulted with an attorney who is experienced in customs money seizures.
The relevant portion of the story is quoted below (full story is here):

On Sept. 28, CBP officers assigned to the Hidalgo International Bridge, working outbound operations selected a blue 2006 Honda Pilot for inspection. The 26-year-old female United States citizen from Pharr, Texas and the vehicle were referred for further secondary examination and it was during the course of the inspection that officers discovered bundles of U.S. currency hidden within a duffle bag in the rear of the SUV. CBP OFO removed 24 bundles of unreported U.S. currency totaling $230,753, which was seized along with the vehicle.

Picture of 24 bundles of unreported U.S. currency totaling $230,753.
Officers discovered bundles of U.S. currency hidden within a duffle bag in the rear of the SUV. CBP OFO removed 24 bundles of unreported U.S. currency totaling $230,753.

CBP OFO arrested the woman and then released her to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation. “CBP Field Operations enforces both incoming and outbound laws and regulations, which includes the proper reporting of currency, be it from the United States or from any other country,” said Acting Port Director Javier Cantu, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry

It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

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. 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