💸Responding to a Cash Seizure Custody Receipt from CBP


At the time of a seizure of currency or money at an airport or border crossing, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) should give you a “Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence” (form 6051S). The custody receipt contains the “FPF No.” allowing your Customs (CBP) cash seizure case to be tracked at the Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures office of Customs (“FP&F”) for the airport or border crossing where the cash seizure occurred.

The custody receipt for seized property from Customs is proof of the cash seizure and helps protect your rights to retrieve the seized money. The receipt shows how much money was seized, who at CBP seized it, and has the contact information for FP&F. If you did not receive a custody receipt, you should be worried. Not everyone at CBP is honest, especially when it involves seized money.

 

CAFRA Notice of Seizure is issued after Customs seizes money


After CBP seizes money, Customs is required to “send” a CAFRA Notice of Seizure (sometimes called a “seizure notice”, “CAFRA Notice”, or customs money seizure letter). This notice should explain the circumstances of the cash seizure: the date, airport or border location where the cash was seized, surrounding circumstances of the airport (like whether leaving or departing, your flight number, etc.), the facts Customs’ alleges support the currency seizure such as failure to report (31 USC § 5316), structuring (31 USC § 5234) and/or bulk cash smuggling (31 USC § 5332). CAFRA stands for “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act.”

The notice of seizure is sent by certified mail if the recipient in the United States and registered mail if the recipient is outside the United States. If CBP does not have a valid address the notice of seizure can get lost. If you have problems with your mail – like the mail in your country is unreliable – you might get the notice of seizure too late (e.g., after the response deadline expired), or not at all.

Delayed receipt of the Notice of Seizure jeopardizes your case


Any delayed receipt of the notice of seizure jeopardizes your case. You should receive the notice within a few weeks if you live in the United States or overseas. If more than 30 days pass without receipt of the CAFRA seizure notice your case is in jeopardy. This is because Customs is only required to send the notice, not prove you received it.

It is also important to receive the seizure notice quickly because you may only have 30 days from the date on the notice of seizure to respond, not 30 days from the date the notice of seizure is received (really, the reguatations say it is 30 days from mailing). This means CBP could date the notice on a Friday, put it in the mail on a Monday, wait 2 weeks for registered delivery, and leave you with less than 14 days to respond. Customs regularly does this. So it’s important to receive the CAFRA notice of seizure quickly to make a petition for relief, file a claim, or submit an offer in compromise, to avoid permanent loss of the money seized by customs.

We act quickly to get the seizure notice for our currency seizure clients because without it, you cannot get your seized money back. If you’ve waited for it more than a few weeks after CBP seized your currency/money at a border or airport, contact us.

 

Responding to a customs currency seizure


Responding to a customs currency seizure correctly is important. The CAFRA Notice of Seizure is a legal document and includes a complex “Election of Proceedings” form. The seizure notice and election of proceedings form should be treated with the same seriousness as a warrant or a writ. It is a legal document and requires a legal response, not an apology letter or explanation. The response determines the outcome of your currency seizure case!

Sometimes the notice of seizure contains bad legal advice like the level of proof required, what type of documentation you must supply, or by “requiring” you to explain why you broke the law. Admitting you violated the law is always a bad idea; and once you admit it, you cannot take it back when CBP decides to keep the seized money. You should not rely on CBP to tell you how to get your seized cash back or talk to them about your case. Get your own legal advice and a free currency seizure consultation.

Because more laws and court decisions are favoring Customs, they are becoming much more aggressive about currency seizure cases and stricter about when they will return seized money than in the past.

Saddam Issa
Saddam Issa
August 19, 2021.
Mr. Jason is the best lawyer you could have to represent you if you money was taken from you at the airports. He is very respectful., kind, professional, punctual, and knowledgeable. He attends to emails very regularly and respond super fast. He gives accurate Infor and dates with regards to the process of gaining your money back. Do not hesitate to hire him. I am extremely happy with his service.
Atika Elouali
Atika Elouali
August 7, 2021.
Great service
elias espinoza
elias espinoza
May 19, 2021.
Excellent customer service. Very professional. Promp response! Highly recommend Jason and his team.
Gloria
Gloria
May 1, 2021.
If anyone needs help, I strongly recommend here. Jason provides fast and accurate solutions and best service. He keeps track of my case properly, and check the progress. The cost of their services is honest and reasonable. I truly believe in here.
Yulia Kondrateva
Yulia Kondrateva
March 3, 2021.
Amazing !!! Outstanding service !!! Affordable prices, great overall experience . Jason is a great person!!! He always replies right away, no delays, no misunderstanding or miscommunication. He is very hard working and honest person. Besides being a great professional in customs law and knowing all customs law procedures Jason also psychologically supported me and my family when we faced our problem. He was able to explain everything in a manner so things were easy to understand. I never had any issues before and be honest didn’t even know where to go to ask for help!!! I got lucky and found Great Lake Customs Law as advertising on google page. I check the reviews and found many good words about Jason! I have no regrets about working with him because recently my case was resolved! I am very happy with outcome and would like to share my experience with others who are struggling at the moment and don’t know what to do and where to go in hard custom law situations. I would love to thank you Jason one more time for all his great work he did for me and my family!!! I would definitely recommend Great Lake Customs Law to my friends, family and anybody who needs help in customs law.
Mohammad Khalil
Mohammad Khalil
December 13, 2020.
Randall Roberts
Randall Roberts
November 2, 2020.
We had to use Jason for 2 instances of seizure and he was able to secure the return of or seized property.
Johnny So
Johnny So
September 5, 2020.
As a fellow attorney (but not in customs law), I found Jason to be professional, prompt, and a great communicator. He resolved our customs case with Detroit CBP very quickly, with very little on our end to do. I think it is very important to hire an attorney with relationships with the people at the governmental agencies you are dealing with (because relationships matter), and Jason has extensive experience on that front. An excellent job!
Jack Miniano
Jack Miniano
August 16, 2020.
Highly recommended. Amazing experience and very satisfied with the service and reasonable fees. Jason was very responsive. He always keep me in the progress and update. Great experience from Maryland customer.
Desiree Chon
Desiree Chon
July 2, 2020.
Jason has been amazing to work with from the get-go. Super friendly, helpful and responsive.