Customs in Dulles Seizes $33k for Failure to File FinCen 105

Money seized by Customs in Dulles laid out on a table

Customs at Dulles airport has seized $33,000 from a person traveling to Egypt because that person failed to report all the money he was leaving the country with. Instead of reporting the full $33,000, he only reported $20,000 verbally (instead of properly reporting it in writing and/or online on a FinCEN 105 form before he was ever asked).

That is, at best, an attempted failure to report (because he had to be asked for the report) and an under-report/mis-report, so a clear violation of 31 USC 5316.

Here’s the story:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers continue to seize unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport, after officers seized $33,000 from an Egypt-bound traveler on Tuesday

The traveler, a U.S. citizen male who CBP is not identifying because he was not criminally charged, verbally reported to officers that he possessed $20,000 and completed a U.S. Treasury Department form for his reported amount. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $33,868. Officers seized the currency and released the traveler.

Last month, CBP announced the seizure of $227,539 in unreported currency from four groups of travelers.

There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105].

CBP offers advice to travelers who may consider violating federal currency reporting laws.

“The most important lesson international travelers can take from these seizures is to truthfully report all currency in their possession to Customs and Border Protection officers when they arrive to or leave the United States. It is less painful to complete a simple form than it is to surrender all their currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws,” said Kim Der-Yeghiayan, Acting CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C.

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.