Customs seizes $25,000 currency in El Paso, Texas

The El Paso Times reports on a recent currency seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, Texas, from a woman who was carrying $25,000  as she attempted to walk into Mexico. They found three bundles of currency in her purse, all unreported.

This article gives me the opportunity to provide some additional insight for my readers: every time currency is seized Customs asks the moneyrolldistrict attorney’s office if they want to prosecute. I do not have access to the actual numbers, but from my experience in the vast majority of currency seizures there is no criminal prosecution. But as this article shows, that is not always the case.

In this instance, the district attorney decided to prosecute and the woman is being held without bond and facing criminal charges. If it
turns out the money was from legitimate source and she had a legitimate intended use, this situation was completely avoidable. But now, even if criminal charges are ultimately not filed or if she is ultimately found not guilty of a crime, she will still face civil forfeiture of the money and, if she wants it back, will have to fight for its return administratively, or in the courts.

If you have had currency seized from Customs you should seek the advice of an attorney. If you do not do so, you might only make the situation worse by trying to handle it on your own. Please make use of the various articles I have made available to the public to help better understand your situation and the procedures involved, but do not let them replace the advice of attorney who is familiar with the law and your particular circumstances.