Tag: dulles

CBP Seizes $50k at Dulles Airport en route to Qatar

U.S. Customs seized nearly $50,000 at Dulles airport from two travellers attempting to leave the country for a failure to report. Both seizures involve people flying to Qatar and significantly under-reporting the amount of currency they possessed. You can read the full story HERE:

The first seizure occurred on July 17, during an outbound international flight enforcement operation. A U.S. citizen boarding a flight to Qatar reported to CBP officers that he possessed $5,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount however; a total of $23,141 was discovered on his person and in his luggage. CBP officers seized the $23,141, returning $541 to the traveler for humanitarian relief, and advised him how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency.

The second seizure occurred on July 19, during another outbound enforcement operation. A U.S. citizen boarding a flight to Qatar Customs Seizes $39k from Nicaraguan Travelerreported to CBP officers that she possessed $6,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount however; numerous envelopes of U.S. and foreign currency were discovered in her carry-on luggage totaling $26,179 (U.S. equivalent). CBP officers seized the $26,179, returning $2,247 to the traveler for humanitarian relief, and advised her how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency.

“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP area port director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “The travelers were given the opportunity to truthfully report their currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”

I know it is sometimes true that truthfully reporting money is the easiest way to keep it, but I am also sure that it is not always true. I know many clients had  opportunities to report transporting more than $10,000 in money but there are who are subjected to “zealous enforcement” and asked trick questions without sufficient opportunity to make, or amend, a report.  Sometimes the philosophy of some Customs officers is to “seize first, ask questions later.”

My clients usually report intimidating behavior while they are being detained, like back-slapping, laughter, high-fiving among officers about their seizure prowess, and sometimes unfounded threats of criminal prosecution.

It is also true, as this news release says, that the easiest way to keep your currency is to report it; but Customs can still theoretically seize your money if you have under $10,000 and they think you are “structuring” to avoid to have to file a report, the money was concealed, or if you report over $10,000 but lack good documentation about the source and use of the funds, or if they believe it has some connection to criminal activity.

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

 

$19k Customs Currency Seizure Mitigated at Airport On-site

U.S. Customs seized $19,050 from a U.S. citizen leaving for Lebanon at Dulles Airport on Monday using a currency detection dog. The seizure of $19,050, was mitigated on-site, meaning the passenger did not have to go through the petition process — with its inherent delays — to get the seized money back.

As far as I am aware, on-site mitigation is only available to those persons who are transporting less than $25,000, and who mis-report an amount that is 5% or less in variance with the actual amount being transported. I am not sure how this case qualified for on-scene mitigation because the mis-report was greater than 5%, but this gentleman should consider himself lucky.

Here is the FULL STORY, excerpted below:

The man was boarding a flight to Lebanon via Germany when he was identified by a CBP officer, working with his currency detection canine, as carrying a rp_IAD-K9-24k-Seizure-LOW-042114.jpgsignificant amount of currency. The man repeatedly declared $15,000 however; a total of $19,050 was discovered on his person and in his luggage. CBP officers seized the $19,050, assessed a $1,000 penalty for failure to properly report the currency, and returned $18,050 to the traveler.

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.

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

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.

CBP at Dulles Airport Seizes $72K over 3 days

CBP seized over $70,000 from 3 travellers at Washington Dulles airport recently. This was reported yesterday by CBP (read it here), with some additional follow-up in an article at the Washington Post (read it here).

The Washington Post does an alright job of reporting why the currency was seized, but understandably mixes up its legal terminology; seizure is different from forfeiture. Likewise, a “simple” failure to report violation does not, in and of it self, give rise to a bulk cash smuggling violation. Failure to report is money is not reported, or is not accurately reported; bulk cash smuggling is when money is hidden on a person or in their effects with purpose and intent that, by hiding it, they will avoid the requirement, to file a currency report.

Here is the story from CBP. Notice no criminal charges were filed yet:

STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a combined $72,095 in unreported currency from three travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport over the past three days.

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.

The first seizure occurred Saturday when a U.S. lawful permanent resident who arrived from Iran reported verbally Keep Calm and Contact Your Customs Attorneyand in writing that she possessed $10,000. While inspecting the woman’s luggage, CBP officers discovered Euros equivalent to $27,525 in U.S. dollars and $2,135 in U.S. currency for a total of $29,660.

On Sunday, a U.S. citizen arrived from Dubai, U.A.E., and reported verbally and in writing that she possessed $10,000. While examining her luggage, CBP officers discovered a total of $20,435.

The final seizure Monday occurred during an outbound international flight enforcement operation. A man destined for Ukraine reported to CBP officers that he possessed $15,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount. During a search of the man’s carry-on baggage, CBP officers discovered an additional $8,000. CBP officers seized $22,000 and released $1,000 back to the man for humanitarian purposes.

CBP officers seized all currency, a combined $72,095, and released all three travelers.

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 these seizures are 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.”

In addition to currency enforcement, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.

If you have had your currency seized, please 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

U.S. Customs Seizes $17k Cash at Dulles Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized more than $17,000 from a woman returned to the United States from the United Arab Emirates last week at at Washington Dulles International Airport. She only declared $9,000 but was in possession of more than $17,000, making all of the money subject to seizure. The original here, excerpt below:

The woman arrived on a flight from the United Arab Emirates and stated she was in possession of $9,000. She was referred for a secondary inspection where she Cash Seizure by Customsrepeatedly declared possessing $9,000. During a baggage examination, a CBP officer found a total of $17,575. CBP officers seized the $17,575, returning $1,000 to the traveler for humanitarian relief, and advised her how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency. [Note: read our tips and see a sample petition for remission here)

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.

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

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler’s name since she was not criminally charged.

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