Tag: customs attorney

Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP

If you are attempting to get your seized currency back from Customs by filing a petition for remission there are several legal requirements written into the Customs laws and¬†regulations. Some do-it-yourselfers¬†come to our customs law firm’s website looking for a sample currency seizure petition they can use to submit to Customs. Customs publishes its own set of forms for use in a wide variety of different customs enforcement/forfeiture contexts; for petitions there is a form called Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred (Customs Form 4609 (click to access)).¬† The form is extremely basic and we do not recommended it for use in the context of a customs money¬†seizure. It can be used as a starting point, though, because any petition must have at least the information from that form.

But any good petition for seized currency should have a lot more information to be effective. When we file a petition on behalf of our currency seizure clients they are at least 10 Petition for Remission of Currency Seizurepages long because petitioning for the return of seized currency is a serious legal issue (read more about it here). Many people think it’s easy and sometimes Customs will lead you to believe it is. But why would you believe the people who just took your money? Here’s some of the questions that you should ask yourself before doing it yourself. Any lawyer you hire to help get your seized currency back should be able to answer these questions.

15 Questions to Ask Before Filing a Petition for Remission of Seized Currency with U.S. Customs:

  1. Was the search of your baggage or person constitutional?
  2. Was the currency seizure constitutional?
  3. Who has the burden of proof?
  4. What is the standard of proof that must be met by the party with the burden of proof?
  5. Does the currency seizure constitute an excessive fine in violation of the constitution?
  6. How do the federal courts in your state/circuit interpret the currency reporting requirement?
  7. Did you violate the currency reporting requirement?
  8. Are you admitting you violated the law? Are you saying too much? Are you not saying enough?
  9. Are you admitting other violations of laws you are unaware of? (unlawful currency structuring, bulk cash smuggling, conspiracy, FCPA violations (bribes), or false statement to law enforcement, among others)
  10. Did you bring the money from a country under economic sanctions, like Iran? If so, did you violate those sanctions or are you unintentionally admitting you violated those sanctions?
  11. Were there any recognized mitigating factors or aggravating factors?
  12. Are there mitigating factors that Customs has authority to recognize even though not in a written policy?
  13. Did you make an oral amendment of your declaration the Customs did not honor?
  14. Are documents properly notarized?
  15. Are documents properly translated?

If your money was seized by 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). Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. 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
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk¬†About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case
  14. Understanding CBP’s Election of Proceedings Form

Customs Confiscates $39k at Port of Douglas in Arizona

The Douglas Dispatch out of Arizona reports on some arrest/seizure activity by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The relevant portion is:

A short time later 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, currency and marijuana, and referred all three suspects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

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

Seizure of $325,000 Smuggled leaving Puerto Rico

As picked up by the Associated Press, Customs seized over $325,000 in cash after finding it hidden inside a TV and two refrigerators (i.e., in other words, if done with intent to evade the currency report requirements, smuggled) on its export from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic. What the story does say is that anybody was arrested. But that an investigation is continuing, and as explained, the government typically has 5 years to bring criminal charges for currency reporting violations/seizures.

To me, this doesn’t necessarily sound like the money was connected to unlawful activity; a toy gun, some appliances, and… well, that’s really it. There was¬†an alert by a K-9¬†to the presence of narcotics in some of the currency, but that alone doesn’t prove much. The presence of drugs on currency is widely acknowledged¬†and does not necessarily mean the owners of the currency had any involvement with the drugs themselves, other than innocently owning some dirty money.

The CBP news release contains the most details:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stopped an illegal exportation of currency when officers searched an outbound container booked on the M/V Caribbean Fantasy Ferry destined to the Dominican Republic.Customs Money Seizure

On January 27, CBP officers performed a physical inspection of all cargo inside a container destined to the Dominican Republic as part of outbound screening operations.¬† Utilizing high tech equipment, CBP officers discovered a smuggling attempt of approximately $185,500 hidden in several items, including two refrigerators and a 32‚ÄĚ Television set.¬†¬† They also found a Replica Pistol that fires blanks.

In the same container, a CBP canine alerted to the presence of narcotics on a box of personal effects and household goods.  Physical inspection revealed several packages of currency wrapped in carbon paper, summing $139,980 US dollars.

In total, approximately $325,480 was seized.¬† ‚ÄúThis is a significant money seizure,‚ÄĚ said San Juan Area Port Director Juan Hurtado.¬† ‚ÄúThe currency seized represents more than just money lost by drug trafficking organizations.¬† These revenues are what supply the weapons and other means these organizations use for their illicit activities‚ÄĚ.

CBP officers seized the hidden contraband and Homeland Security Investigation agents will continue the investigation.  Local and federal law enforcement authorities in Puerto Rico will continue to work together to disrupt criminal activity in the island.

If I were the owner of this container, I would contact a customs lawyer immediately. Great Lakes Customs Law handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. If CBP seized cash from you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

Dulles Airport Money Seizure by Customs of $43,015

A Dulles airport money seizure by¬†U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) resulted in a seizure of $43,000 from a U.S. Citizen returning from Ethiopia at Dulles airport. The money seizure occurred even though he reported traveling with more than $30,000 to CBP at Dulles, because his report of $30,000 was inaccurate. Even if you report having more than $10,000, the report must be accurate or your money will be seized¬†(read “Responding to a Customs Money Seizure” HERE). He failed to report an additional $13,015 that he was in his baggage, which in the end, cost him $43,015. To get the seized money back from CBP at Dulles¬†he will need to prove it came from a legitimate source and that it had a legitimate intended use. If he gets his money back he will face a penalty for this violation of the currency reporting regulations.

STERLING, Va. ‚ÄĒ U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $43,000 from a dulles airport money seizure: keep calm and declare over $10,000U.S. citizen Sunday for violating federal currency reporting regulations.

The man arrived on a flight from Ethiopia and presented a CBP Declaration form declaring that he was in possession of $30,000. A CBP officer referred him for a secondary inspection where he completed a U.S. Treasury Department form reporting $30,000. During a baggage examination, a CBP officer found an additional $13,015 for a total of $43,015. CBP officers seized the $43,015 and advised the traveler how to petition for the return of the currency.

There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

‚ÄúTravelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,‚ÄĚ said Wayne Biondi, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Washington. ‚ÄúThe traveler was given the opportunity to truthfully report his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.‚ÄĚ

Last week we reported on two Dulles airport money seizures. Neither of these individuals were arrested, but the government has 5 years to make criminally charges. Our customs law firm handles Dulles airport money seizures made by customs and at other airports in Detroit and around the country.

If you’ve experienced a Dulles airport money seizure, you can learn more from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

CBP Seizes Unreported Currency in New Mexico

U.S. Customs and Border Protection¬†made a brief news release discussing a variety of enforcement actions, which contained a little blurb about seizing $14,029. No mention if the person involved was arrested, but it appears they probably were not. It’s apparently not big enough news for Customs to merit more than a passing mention, but you can bet its big news to the person whose money was confiscated. Are you similarly situated?¬†You can read our¬†popular page¬†on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE.

SANTA TERESA, N.M. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operation officers working at the Santa port of entry were busy Tuesday customs money seizurerecording a wide variety of enforcement actions. CBP officers made two drug seizures, apprehend a fugitive, confiscated prohibited agriculture items and seized unreported currency.

* * *

CBP officers working at the Santa Teresa port on Tuesday also apprehended one NCIC fugitive, seized $14,029 in unreported currency and assessed a $300 penalty against an individual who was transporting prohibited sausage and produce (apple and orange) across the border.

Of course, 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 ‚Äď 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.

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

‚ÄúSeizing undeclared currency at ports of entry serves to deprive criminal organizations of their profits.‚ÄĚ

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 Рbulk 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‚Äôs 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

$24,000 Seized by Customs at Amtrak Station

U.S. Customs reports on a recent customs¬†money¬†seizure from¬†a mother and son entering the United States from Montreal via train. At entry, she reported recently traveling to Cuba and being in possession of $5,000 each. Turns out they actually had $24,000 total. And thus the money was seized by customs. Now the headline¬†of the story says they were arrested¬†but that detail is not in the story itself, just that the case is currently under investigation (the government has 5 years to criminally charge them). ¬†Let’s have a look at this story now (You can read our¬†popular page¬†on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE):

ROUSES POINT, N.Y. ‚ÄďU.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Champlain Port of Entry working at the Rouses Point Amtrak station seized more than $24,000 in unreported US currency.

‚ÄúA person can travel with any amount of currency they wish, there is no limit‚ÄĚ said Paul Mongillo, CBP Port Director for the Port of Champlain. ‚ÄúThe requirement is to declare amounts exceeding $10,000. This requirement is for currency entering and leaving the U.S.‚ÄĚCustoms Money Seizure

On January 4, CBP officers inspecting the Amtrak train from Montreal destined for New York City encountered an individual claiming recent travel to Cuba. The traveler provided a CBP declaration form and stated that she and her son each possessed$5,000 in U.S. currency. During a secondary inspection, multiple envelopes were discovered containing U.S. currency totaling more than $24,000. The traveler later admitted to possession of the unreported currency.

The currency was seized and the case is currently under investigation.

Travelers can avoid seizure by declaring currency amounts exceeding $10,000. International travelers carrying more than $10,000 into or out of the U.S. must report the amount they are transporting or risk seizure of the currency.

Travelers can make currency declarations by completing FinCEN Form 105 and giving it to a CBP officer. Currency is not limited to U.S. dollars and coins but all negotiable monetary instruments including traveler’s checks, money orders and securities. A complete list of negotiable monetary instruments is available on FinCEN Form 105.

This is the first story I’ve related on our customs law¬†blog that involves a money seizure when the border was crossed by train, but of course customs can seize money when entered into the United States by any means, whether by train, bus, car, plane, or boat. I’m also not sure why the reference to a recent trip to Cuba was mentioned unless the traveler’s are U.S. Citizens and are prohibited from traveling to Cuba and that somehow raised suspcions.

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

Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

This is an article about the statute of limitations for currency reporting violations (failure to report monetary instruments over $10,000, bulk cash smuggling, and structuring); in other words, how soon after an offense is committed (or when the¬†currency is seized) that the government must bring criminal charges against you before they are prevented¬†by the statute of limitations. If you want to skip to that part and don’t want to learn some fascinating facts about the most intact T-Rex skeleton¬†ever found, and how one of its discoverers was pursued by the government for allegedly failing to report a currency and monetary instruments over $10,000, scroll down to the next heading.

Currency Reporting Violations and Sue the Dinosaur

Like a lot of grown men, I was fascinated with dinosaurs as a kid. So those kind of headlines still catch my eye. The other day I came across this CNN story — a saga really — about the discovery of the “most intact T-rex skeleton¬†ever found” back in 1990 (“Sue“). To sum things up, shortly after the fossil was discovered FBI¬†agents, accompanied by the national guard, seized the fossil because it was, they alleged, on Indian Trust land¬†(read: under Federal government jurisdiction). The

Sue the Dinosaur

ownership of the dinosaur, and allegations that the people involved with the discovery had stolen and sold dinosaur fossils found on public land, were in the courts for years.

But as I read the story, I was intrigued to read that one of the people responsible for the discovery of the dinosaur “served 18 months in federal prison for customs violations” unrelated to the dinosaur discovery. I thought it must have had something to do with the importation of dinosaur fossils like happened in Detroit a few years ago, which I blogged about.¬†But¬†not so.¬†Looking into the matter further, I discovered this 1996 article from the New York Times¬†that explains the customs violations were for failing to¬†report the transport of more than $10,000 into or out of the United States:

…Mr. Larsen was convicted of two felonies — failure to report to American customs officials $31,700 in travelers checks he had brought from Japan, and failure to report $15,000 in cash he took to Peru.

Oops! The story basically says that, of 153 charges in a 39 count indictment brought against him by the Federal government, these currency reporting violations and some misdemeanors related to the sale of fossils valued at less than $100 is what stuck. In the context of the fiasco about the dinsoaur bones, winding up getting criminally charged with failure to report currency being transported in excess of $10,000 seems kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it?

What’s the statute of limitations of currency reporting violations?

This story was just the occasion for me write about the statute of limitations for currency reporting violations (failure to report, bulk cash smuggling, and unlawful structuring that often result in currency seizures). The statute of limitations for currency reporting violations under 31 USC §§ 5316, 5324 and 5332 is found in 18 USC § 3282(a), which states:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.

That means once the event giving rise to the violation has occurred, the government has 5 years from that date to bring criminal charges against you.

My customs currency seizure clients often want to know: is failing to report currency a crime? Yes, it is, and it is punishable by a fine of $250,000 to $500,000 and 5 to 10 years in jail. But I also tell them that if they were not arrested at the time the currency was seized, and the U.S. Attorney was notified and declined to prosecute you, they probably will not face criminal charges.

But just because you weren’t arrested and charged immediately still means it could happen up to 5 years later.

Keep Calm and Declare Monetary Instruments Exceeding $10,000 USD

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?

 

CBP Seized an Average of $650k from Travelers Each Day in 2014

U.S. Customs & Border Protection released its annual Border Security Report which you can read in full HERE¬†(pdf). ¬†With respect to¬†customs money seizures for failure to report amounts over $10,000 (or, bulk cash smuggling, or structuring), the numbers are staggering.¬†The report states that “the agency seized more than $237 million in unreported currency through targeted enforcement operations.” That’s an average of almost $650,000 per day. It breaks down the number for four southwest states:cbp money confiscation

  • Arizona = $3,475,523
  • Texas = $7,732,830
  • New Mexico = $969,830
  • California = $12,908,976

Detroit and other Midwestern ports should be publishing their numbers soon. 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.

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 detention 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

CBP Confiscates $82K From International Traveler

U.S. Customs reports on a recent customs money seizure from a woman attempting to cross the border. Something tipped the customs officers off as she left the U.S. and put her through a secondary inspection where they found, lo and behold, $82,077. If this individual is not prosecuted by the government for criminal violations, she faces the  potentially difficult task of proving a legitimate source and legitimate intended use of the money. You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE.

Also, Customs gets the law wrong again, which now I am pretty sure they keep doing to get me worked up. The law only applies to “more than $10,000” not “$10,000 or more.” It’s the difference of a penny, but it’s still wrong to say $10,000 or more. Here is¬†the story:

On Dec. 14, CBP officers working outbound operations at the Gateway International Bridge selected a white 1999 Cadillac Escalade for a secondary inspection. The driver, a 31-year-old female CBP Money SeizureU.S. citizen from Brownsville, was arrested after officers discovered packages containing unreported U.S. currency concealed within the Escalade. Officers removed and seized three packages

that contained [$82,077 in] U.S. currency which was allegedly was being taken into Mexico without being properly reported.

After CBP Field Operations arrested the adult female, she was turned over to agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) 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.

In this case, we could give the woman the benefit of the doubt and presume the legitimate source is the proceeds of a decade worth of scrimping and saving; and the intended use, perhaps she is a very generous person and was going to buy Christmas presents in Mexico, with cash. Then Customs swoops in, seizes her money, and ruins all her plans. But, if we assume she proves these two things, then this situation is regrettable for him and completely avoidable. But now, even if criminal charges are ultimately not filed or if he is ultimately found not guilty of a crime, she will still face civil forfeiture of the money and, if he wants it back, will have to fight for its return administratively, or in the courts.

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 on customs moneys eizures:

  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