Tag: failure to report cash to cbp

Piles of cash seized by CBP officers at Philadelphia airport.

$93k Seized by Philly CBP

I’ve had limited time to blog about customs law lately, but there was a large currency seizure out of Philadelphia reported about 2 weeks ago. At $93,000, it is among the largest of the run-of-the-mill failure to report/bulk cash smuggling cases that I’ve seen at the nation’s airport.

Usually, these types of seizures are typically between $10,000 and $40,000, but sometimes larger; therefore, moving $93,000 out of the country likely took customs officers seizing the cash at the airport by surprise.

Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $93,000 from a Qatar-bound family for violating federal currency reporting regulations Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport.

CBP officers conducted an inspection on departing international passengers and encountered a man, his wife and their five children.  Officers explained the currency reporting regulations to the family and the father reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $12,000.  During the inspection, CBP officers discovered a combined $93,393 concealed on the man’s, the woman’s, and their adult child’s bodies.  CBP officers seized the currency.

CBP officers returned $3,393 to the family and released them to continue their journey.

So this airport seizure involved 7 people — a husband, wife, and 5 children. The phrase “concealed on . . . their . . . bodies” does not bode well for this family. Recall, the consequences a failure to report are less than when the offense involves bulk cash smuggling (i.e., concealing the cash with the intent of avoiding the currency report).

Has Philly CBP seized your cash?

If Philly CBP seized your cash, read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

 

Detroit Airport Currency Report Sign

CBP Seizure of Cash without Warrant

U.S. Customs & Border Protection can seize cash without a warrant when traveling internationally into or out of the United States if they have probable cause to believe that you violated the cash reporting requirement, the bulk cash smuggling laws, or the structuring laws. Most people know these laws simply as the $10,000 reporting requirement.

Does CBP need a warrant to seize money?

The U.S. Constitution creates an exception to the warrant requirement when you consent to the warrant requirement or when a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy. At the international border, the U.S. Supreme Court has said you have absolutely no reasonable expectation of privacy. Thus, CBP can seize your cash without requiring a warrant if you are at a border or are at an airport and flying into or out of the United States.

Furthermore, as if the interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court were not enough, Congress passed a law giving U.S. Customs & Border Protection the right to search and seize at the border, without a warrant. This appears in Title 31, which is the body of laws governing the federal currency reporting regulations.

31 USC 5316(b) says:

Searches at border. For purposes of ensuring compliance with the requirements of section 5316 [31 USCS § 5316], a customs officer may stop and search, at the border and without a search warrant, any vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or other conveyance, any envelope or other container, and any person entering or departing from the United States.

and 5316(c)(2) says…

(2) Civil forfeiture. Any property involved in a violation of section 5313, 5316, or 5324 of this title [31 USCS § 5313, 5316, or 5324], or any conspiracy to commit any such violation, and any property traceable to any such violation or conspiracy, may be seized and forfeited to the United States in accordance with the procedures governing civil forfeitures in money laundering cases pursuant to section 981(a)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code.

Have you had cash seized by CBP without a warrant?

If you had cash seized by CBP without a warrant, there’s nothing wrong with that from CBP’s perspective. That’s legal, if traveling internationally. But, you still have some chance to get the money back by showing that the money is not connected to illegal activity.

If CBP seized your cash you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

$45,000 of cash seized in envelopes by CBP laid out in 3 rows of 15 on on a wood table with a CBP logo

CBP Seized $45,000 Cash in Envelopes

Dulles CBP seized cash in envelopes from a man en route to Belgium last Sunday. According to the story,

$45,000 of cash seized in envelopes by CBP laid out in 3 rows of 15 on on a wood table with a CBP logo
CBP at Dulles Airport seized $45,000 for failure to report the cash to customs.

the man reported having $30,000 only after being stopped. In reality, he had a total of $44,922.

The officers told him how to petition for return of his cash, but why would anyone take legal advice from a non-lawyer, especially law enforcement that just seized a stash of cash hidden in envelopes? This is why we offer a free currency seizure consultation, and why we’ve provided some guidance on options other than filing a petition; such as a claim and offer in compromise. Here’s CBP’s story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO), at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $44,922 Sunday from a Maryland man for violating federal currency reporting regulations.

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.

A man was boarding a flight to Belgium and was selected for questioning by CBP officers who were conducting an outbound enforcement operation on an international flight. The man completed a financial form, reporting $30,000 however; a total of $44,922 was discovered within two envelopes on his person. CBP officers seized the $44,922 and advised him 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 Patrick Orender, CBP Assistant 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.”

Has CBP seized cash in envelopes from you?

If you’ve had cash seized in envelopes at Dulles or another airport, you can learn more from our trusted legal guide to a customs money seizure and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.