Tag: CMIR

Stacks of US Currency lined up on a long table in front of a CBP sign

Dulles CBP Seizes $46K in Cash from Ghana and Egypt bound travellers

 

CBP cash seizures in Dulles are on the rise with increased international travel. In this story, Dulles airport CBP officers seized $20,404 from a man traveling to Ghana and a couple traveling to Egypt with $26,043.

The man traveling to Ghana made an inaccurate report, but he still reported more than $10,000. But, his mistake was 1) his report was not accurate and 2) he did not report the money until he was asked. You need to file the FinCen 105 currency and monetary instrument report (CMIR) before you are asked to do so, otherwise it is obvious you had the intention of not reporting it until you were asked, and so, at minimum, would be responsible for an attempted violation of 31 USC 5316, failure to report cash.

The couple traveling from Dulles airport to Egypt that had their cash seized by CBP are in a tougher situation though. In their case, some of their money was “concealed inside a suitcase liner.” This allows CBP to claim the money was hidden with the intent it would not be found by Customs, which is the classic definition of bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling leads to higher penalties, and a higher rate of forfeiture (permanent loss of all or part of the money).

The story follows below….

STERLING, Va. – The best way for travelers to keep their currency when traveling is to truthfully report all of it to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during inspection. CBP has repeated that advice for years, yet officers still encounter travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport who ignore that simple advice.

For example, CBP officers at Dulles airport recently seized more than $46,000 combined during two separate currency seizures from travelers departing the United States.

In the most recent case on Sunday, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen destined to Ghana. The man initially reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $14,000. However, officers discovered a total of $19,904 in his carry-on bag, and an additional $500 in his backpack for a total of $20,404. Officers seized the currency, returned $404 to the man as humanitarian relief, and released him to continue his travel.

Earlier, on April 26, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a couple’s carry-on bags and the couple, who were destined to Egypt, reported that they possessed $15,000. During an examination, CBP officers discovered additional currency in the woman’s purse and even more concealed inside a suitcase liner for a total of $26,043. CBP officers seized the currency, then returned $1,043 as a humanitarian relief and released the couple to continue their travel.

“We cannot make this point enough, travelers can carry all the currency they want to and from the United States, but U.S. federal law requires them to make a formal report on amounts of $10,000 or greater. It’s that simple,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “The consequences for violating US currency reporting laws are severe – from missing a flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a Customs and Border Protection officer, and to even facing criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling. It’s too easy to just be truthful.”

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.

Stacks of cash seized by CBP in Laredo

CBP Laredo Seizes $261K in Currency to Mexico

In two recent cases described in a news release below two individuals were arrested not filing a CMIR (FinCen 105 report) upon leaving the USA to Mexico.

The story is light on details — except, for some reason, what car the people were driving (for unknown reasons this is always so important at the Mexican border!).

There is no mention of bulk cash smuggling, though it seems likely the money was hidden and not reported. Even if they are criminally charged, both defendants would have the ability to get the money back provided they show the money has no nexus to illegal activity (legitimate source, legitimate use).

Here’s what CBP says recently happened at the nation’s southern border in Laredo, Texas, as described here:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge, seized over $261,000 in two separate, unrelated incidents.

The first enforcement action occurred on Jan. 24, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2009 Kia Sorento traveling to Mexico for inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 53-year-old female United States citizen. Upon physical inspection of the subject’s personal belongings, packages containing $65,560 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The second enforcement action occurred on Jan. 29, when officers intercepted a 2006 Ford F-150 traveling to Mexico and selected it for inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen. Upon physical inspection of the subject’s vehicle, packages containing $195,731 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The seizures combined totaled $261,291.

The currency and vehicles were seized by CBP. Both drivers were arrested, and the cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Laredo CBP seized your money?

Has Laredo CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

$100 bills laid out on table seized by Customs

CBP Seizes $879K Smuggled by Plane

Customs officers in San Antonio, Texas, seized a very significant amount of cash – $879,000. Typically, we only read about such large amounts of cash being seized by CBP from vehicles, as one can easily imagine is part of the illegal drug trade.

But this time, the money was leaving the country on a private plan. The individuals involved were arrested for bulk cash smuggling. Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Antonio International Airport intercepted a pair of travelers allegedly smuggling currency out of the U.S. July 15.

The travelers were carrying $879,695 packed in boxes and duct taped closed and were en route to Mexico via private aircraft when they were apprehended.

Two CBP officers arrived to San Antonio’s Fixed Base Operation to conduct an outbound inspection on a private aircraft when they noticed the aircraft was on the runway preparing for departure.  The officers informed the Federal Aviation Administration tower that the aircraft had not been cleared for departure and to direct the plane to the CBP General Aviation Facility.

When the aircraft arrived, the officers began their inspection, which included asking the passengers for an oral declaration of any currency or monetary instruments they were carrying.  Each passenger provided a negative oral declaration followed by a negative written declaration on CBP Form 6051B.

An inspection of the aircraft revealed taped boxes with stacks of currency concealed inside.  CBP officers arrested two Mexican nationals for allegedly intending to evade the currency reporting requirements by knowingly concealing more than $10,000 in currency or other monetary instruments and attempting to transport the currency from within the U.S. to a place outside of the U.S.

[. . . ]

“One of the reasons CBP performs outbound inspections is to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Houston’s CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Beverly Good. “This significant currency seizure is a direct reflection of our continuing commitment to enforcing all U.S. laws, including federal currency reporting requirements.”

This is among the largest single seizure of unreported currency in the Houston Field Office region which includes San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Houston.  The two men were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

On a typical day in 2017, CBP officers around the country seized $265,205 in undeclared or illicit currency.

Has CBP San Antonio Seized Your Cash?

If CBP seized your cash at San Antonio International Airport, you should give us a call for a free currency seizure consultation and make use of our free customs cash seizure legal guide.

Tuition Money Seized by Customs

Customs seizure of tuition money is a common occurrence in the weeks prior to the start of either semester of the school year. Like all customs currency seizures, the seizure typically happens because of a failure to file a currency report by people transporting money into the United States of amounts over $10,000.

Lots of foreign students come to the United States and pay their tuition in cash as most colleges won’t accept tuition payments by credit card. Likewise, many foreign exchange students and children of immigrants get a lot of cash assistance from family overseas who understand their duty to pay for their children’s education; it may be a lump $15,000 sum from a parent or grandparent, or a few hundred or thousand dollars from several different relatives or benefactors.

Customs can easily identify someone on student visa, who is relatively young, and is arriving from China, India or Korea; we previously wrote about how customs can “target” currency reporting enforcement based on just these types of criteria. This makes it very easy for them to target students who will then be required to give an accurate report of currency down to the dollar, and if they don’t to seize their cash. The only thing higher than the cost of education is the cost of not accurately reporting money over $10,000 to customs.

What to do when Customs seizes your tuition money?

Traveling with cash? Claim monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 USD!
Don’t let customs seize cash. Traveling with cash? Claim monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 USD!

Take the advice we have already given for responding to a customs money seizure by reading our popular article on the topic: Responding to a Customs Currency Seizure. Currency seizure cases are handled the same whether the money that was seized by customs was intended to be used to pay for college tuition or, for example, for travel expenses. As long as the use of the money is legitimate (and tuition is a legitimate use) and the source of the money is legitimate, with the right legal help you have a good chance of getting your seized tuition money back. If you want to know what a petition to get seized money back from customs looks like, read our article here.

Will I get the money in time to pay my tuition?

It really depends on a variety of circumstances, as we talked about in our popular article on the topic: How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure? In every case, hiring the right attorney to handle your case can speed up the process, from getting the notice of seizure issued, to gathering evidence (obtaining supporting documents, preparing affidavits and giving customs everything they need without waiting for them to request additional documents), researching and drafting the legal basis for the obtaining a return of the seized currency in the petition, and ultimately, if successful, getting the money returned without delay, often by direct deposit. We work hard at Great Lakes Customs Law to get your seized currency returned back to you in a timely manner by doing the job right the first time.

How can I find out more or hire a law firm to help with my customs currency seizure?

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. 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?

Philly CBP Seizes $50K from Traveler Arriving from Germany

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized $50,000 cash at a Philadelphia airport from a traveler arriving from Frankfurt, Germany. No criminal charges have been filed yet. The guy, when asked how much he was travelling with, told CBP a couple hundred bucks. Turns out he had about $50,000 more tucked away in a toiletry bag.

This is actually a pretty common occurrence. Why don’t people tell the truth? Well, panic can cause people to act irrationally. Uniformed law enforcement officers asking terse questions can throw anyone off guard, especially the unsuspecting traveler who was just trying to sleep upright on a 9 hour flight with screaming children two rows back. And oftentimes people don’t know the law, and Customs will usually not explain it to you, if at all, as they should.

Let’s have a look at the story…

CBP officers referred the man and his baggage, several shopping bags and a carry-on bag for a comprehensive secondary examination. He declared, on his Customs Declaration Form rp_Keep-Calm-Petition-Meme-211x300.pngand verbally, that he possessed no currency. As CBP officers started inspecting his baggage, the man declared to possessing a “couple hundred dollars.” A CBP officer then discovered a stack of currency concealed inside a toiletry bag, which prompted the man to declare $50,000. The inspection revealed a total of $50,303.

There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to complete financial reporting forms for any amount that exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements risk having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges.

CBP officers provide travelers with multiple opportunities to report truthfully all of their currency.

“We hope that this seizure is a lesson for all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it to a CBP officer,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. 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

Cross Border Customs Cash Seizure Nets $39k

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released some news about recent enforcement actions, including a seizure of about 39,000 from a Mexican man entering the United States. No mention if the person involved was arrested. Have you had cash seized by Customs? You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE. In short, the man can get some of his seized money back from Customs if he can prove the money came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use.

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port of Douglas arrested two women – one from Douglas and one from Glendale, Arizona – as well as a cbp cash seizureMexican national man, during separate weekend smuggling attempts involving more than 300 pounds of marijuana and nearly $39,000 in unreported currency. [ . . . ]

[On] Jan. 25, officers conducting outbound inspections referred a 34-year-old man from Mexico for further inspection of his Nissan truck. When officers searched the man and his vehicle, they seized nearly $39,000 in unreported currency.

Officers seized the vehicles [and] currency, and referred all … suspects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Of course, even if not arrested that day the government has 5 years to criminally charge them. Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

Cash Seized by U.S. Customs and Arrest for Bulk Cash Smuggling

U.S. Customs reports on a recent customs bulk cash smuggling seizure from a Mexican national attempting to leave the United States. The money was seized and he is being criminally charged. The total amount seized from this individual was $37,181. In order to prevail on criminal bulk cash smuggling charges government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the cash seized by customs was concealed in the vehicle for the purposes of evading the reporting requirement. That’s the essence of the crime of bulk cash smuggling.

Even though the currency was also seized as being involved in a bulk cash smuggling offense, there is a possibility to recover some of the money. To put it somewhat simply, first, he will need to establish that the seized cash came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use. Then, the seized cash can be returned to the extent that seizure is unconstitutional: in other words, that seizure is a violation of the excessive fines clause of the U.S Constitution.

Let’s have a look at the story:

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Federal authorities at the Eagle Pass of Entry arrested a Mexican national Jan. 7, after finding a large amount of undeclared currency in his vehicle as he attempted to leave the country.

“Large amounts of currency may be imported and exported with the proper documentation,” said John Brandt, CBP Port Director, Eagle Pass. “Failure to report international transit of $10,000 or more could mean forfeiture of funds and criminal sanctions.Cash Seizure by Customs

“Seizing undeclared currency at ports of entry serves to deprive criminal organizations of their profits.”

Around 3 p.m. Jan. 7, CBP officers at Eagle Pass International Bridge I, inspected a 2014 Volkswagen GLI as is departed the United States bound for Mexico. During inspection, officers discovered a total of $36,645 in U.S. currency and 7,890 Mexican pesos ($536.37 U.S.) in various locations throughout the vehicle and in the driver’s possession. Officers recovered currency totaling $37,181.

The driver, a 25-year-old Sabinas, Coahuila, Mexico man, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for federal prosecution on a charge of 31 U.S. Code § 5332 – bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States.

The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within U.S. Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE. Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today. If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

CBP Reminds Public About Currency Reporting Requirement

In the past month we have reported on two violations of the currency reporting requirements that resulted in seizure of money by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at the CBP pre-clearance station in Nassau, Bahamas. Those stories are HERE and HERE. Now we have a “reminder” about the “Currency Reporting Requirement” from that same pre-clearance station, which is excerpted below.

If you have had money seized by customs call our office at  (734) 855-4999 or CONTACT US BY CLICKING HERE to speak to a customs lawyer. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.cbp money seizure

NASSAU, Bahamas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds travelers of the requirement to report currency amounts of $10,000 or more to CBP when traveling to or from the United States.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States; however, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP (note: like the money seizure story HERE). If travelers have someone else carry the currency or monetary instrument for them, they must file a currency report for the entire amount with (note: like the structuring story HERE). Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

“The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer,” said Robert Allen Smith, area port director for Nassau Preclearance.

There’s a lot of great reasons why you should hire our firm, but one of them is that we know the law: you may not know the law, and oftentimes, as this article shows, customs does not know the law.  Annoyingly, this CBP news release, like many, gets the law wrong. 31 USC 5316(a)(1), the law that gives CBP the authority to seize money and monetary instruments which are not reported, clearly says that a report is required if only if “more than $10,000” is transported, not $10,000 “or more”.

Having an attorney is especially important if more than one person was travelling and the seizure was of cash, there are allegations of smuggling, or structuring, or if you experienced a lengthy dentetion or questioning at the time of seizure. We handle this and many other types of cases, which we publish the results of here.  Read our popular article on responding to a currency seizure by clicking HERE.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures

 

U.S. Customs Seizes $69,000 in Cash at Preclearance Station from Traveler

Did you know U.S. Customs & Border Protection has preclearance stations in numerous foreign countries (link)? Did you know that if you fail to report currency at these preclearance stations it will be seized from you just as though you were going through U.S. Customs on U.S. soil? It’s apparently true, and here’s the story of a lady who had almost $70,000 seized for failure to report currency in excess of $10,000 while leaving the Bahamas destined for Fort Meyers, Florida.

NASSAU, Bahamas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nassau Preclearance facility discovered $69,739 in undeclared U.S. currency inside a traveler’s carry-on and checked luggage. The Royal Bahamas Police Force took custody of the traveler and the currency.Keep Calm and Declare Monetary Instruments Exceeding $10,000 USD

On Nov. 24, CBP officers encountered a 51-year-old female U.S. citizen traveling to Fort Myers, Florida. The subject was referred for a secondary baggage exam after Nassau Airport Authority Security alerted to a large sum of money inside a piece of checked luggage. During the baggage exam, CBP officers discovered several envelopes addressed to multiple people containing U.S. currency. The subject only reported $900 on her declaration and when questioned reaffirmed to CBP officers that she was traveling with less than $10,000. The traveler failed to formally report the money to CBP resulting in the seizure of the currency.

“This seizure is an excellent example of the cooperative working relationship U.S. Customs and Border Protection has with Nassau Airport Authority Security, who notified CBP of an anomaly in a bag,” said Robert Allen Smith, area port director for Nassau Preclearance. “CBP officers provided the traveler with multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency in her possession; however, she failed to comply with the reporting requirements. The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer.”

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States. However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

It’s a somewhat intriguing for this customs lawyer, because 31 USC § 5316 requires that a “person . . . shall file a report . . . when the person . . . knowingly transports, is about to transport, or has transported, monetary instruments of more than $10,000 at one time . . . to a place in the United States from or through a place outside the United States”. The implementing regulation, 31 CFR § 1010.306, states that the report shall be filed “at the time of entry into the United States or at the time of departure . . .  from the United States, unless otherwise specified . . . .” At the time the regulation was drafted I don’t think the preclearance stations were contemplated. Thus, there might be a thin argument that there was no failure to report… but this is just me shooting from the hip. I haven’t done any time researching the issue and it should not be relied on anyone as legal advice.

Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today (you can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE).If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles customs currency seizures:

  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures

U.S. Customs Seizes Bulk Cash from 23 y/o US Citizen

In a currency seizure reported by U.S. Customs, customs seized over $250k 23 year old man headed into Mexico. No mention of an arrest, but just an ongoing investigation. This seizure is probably based on both bulk cash smuggling and failure to report. Both carry criminal consequences. Customs also gets the law wrong, as we explained below, which is a great reason to hire a lawyer for your customs money seizure case. Let’s have a look at the always-interesting-facts in this currency seizure story to see what the person did wrong that caused this encounter to end up as another customs airport money seizure:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville Port of Entry seized $259,750 in bulk U.S. currency. [ . . . ] Stacks of varying denominations totaling $259,750 in cash seized by customsundeclared currency seized by CBP officers and agents recently at Brownsville Port of Entry.

On Nov. 24, CBP officers working outbound enforcement operations at the Gateway International Bridge came in contact with a silver 2007 Volkswagen Jetta as it attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico. The driver, a 23-year-old United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, a search of the Jetta resulted in the discovery of two packages of bulk U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle. CBP officers seized the currency the vehicle and the case had been referred to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation. [ . . . ]

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 this guy could prove the money came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use, then this customs cash seizure was completely avoidable. Near the bottom of this story customs states that the law requires that a person file a formal report of “$10,000 or higher” into or out of the United States. That is incorrect. The law requires reports of more than $10,000. If even customs doesn’t know the law, you are better of hiring an attorney.

Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today (you can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE).If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles customs currency seizures:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. CustomsKeep Calm and Declare Monetary Instruments Exceeding $10,000 USD
  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. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures