The currency reporting requirements were designed, in part, to give the government additional abilities to catch people involved in money laundering. Wikipedia, in its article on money laundering, explains that:
Money laundering is the process of concealing the source of large amounts of money that have been gained through illegitimate means. Money evidently gained through crime is “dirty” money, and money that has been “laundered” to appear as if it came from a legitimate source is “clean” money. Money can be laundered by many methods, which vary in complexity and sophistication.
Therefore, it is with great irony that I share with you the following news release from Customs involving a currency seizure resulting from an effort to smuggle money out of the United States and into Mexico by concealing it in a box of laundry detergent.
Nogales, Ariz. —A southern California woman was arrested Saturday for attempting to smuggle $100,000 in unreported U.S. currency into Mexico through the Dennis DeConcini Port.
Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound inspections selected a Honda sedan, driven by Blanca Gabriela Medina, 29, of El Monte, Calif., for further inspection. When officers searched the vehicle, they located 10 packages of U.S. currency hidden in a box of laundry detergent. The vehicle and cash were processed for seizure. Medina was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
And the best part of all, the picture:
If you have money seized and receive a notice of seizure, do not decide how to respond to a CAFRA Notice without first consulting an attorney. Any mistake or error in judgment you make can cost you dearly.The Petition process is a legal process. The petition itself is and should always be a legal document, no different than in any other legal proceeding, that contains detailed factual narrative, what led to the seizure, a review of the relevant law, regulations and Custom’s own guidelines concerning the criteria for remission. When the facts allow for it, our Petition will always include a strong argument for return of the money in full, or even when there is a valid basis for the currency seizure, a strong argument for the money to be returned upon payment of a fine in the smallest amount of money possible, rather than forfeiture of all your money.
If you have had currency seized and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information I make available on this website or call my office at (734) 855-4999 or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with currency seizures around the country, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.