Dulles Airport CBP Seizes $19K from Swiss Traveler

Customs at Dulles airport confiscated almost $20,000 from a traveler arriving there from Switzerland. According to the story, quoted below, the basis for the seizure was a failure to report. Instead of reporting $20,000, the man only reported $10,000. You might ask: Why report $10,000 and not $20,000? It’s a good question. I find that when there is not total ignorance, there is little understanding of the law that requires the report. This man may have chose not to read the lengthy explanation on the declaration form and instead, though he only needed to report more the amount of money in excess of $10,000 that he was transporting. Alas, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Here is the story itself:

Declare money over $10,000 to avoid CBP money seizure.
During a secondary baggage inspection, CBP took $19,824 cash. The man had only reported $10,000.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $19,824 in unreported currency from a male U.S. lawful permanent resident for violating federal currency reporting regulations at Washington Dulles International Airport Saturday.

The man arrived on a flight from the Switzerland and reported to a CBP officer that he possessed $10,000. During a secondary baggage inspection, CBP officers discovered U.S. dollars, Swiss francs and Euros that totaled the equivalent of $19,824 in U.S. dollars. CBP officers seized the currency and released the man.

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.

“Seizing a traveler’s currency is not a pleasant experience, but there are severe consequences for violating U.S. laws,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “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.”

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