Tag: miami

Cash Hidden Inside Envelope Seized on Export by CBP

CBP Miami Intercepts Money Exports

CBP Miami made some significant cash seizures in outbound cargo shipments, which in this case were heading toward Costa Rica.

Just as it is illegal to hand-carry more than $10,000 out of the country without reporting it on form Fincen 105, so too is it illegal to ship it out of the country without reporting it.

In this case, one packaged contained $29k, and the other $19k. Both were destined for Costa Rica.

Here’s the story:

MIAMI – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers had a busy week seizing … money attempted to be exported from the United States through Miami International Airport (MIA).

Last week, CBP officers assigned to the Outbound Enforcement Team at MIA intercepted … $48,000.00 in US currency, in different outbound shipments of cargo.

The shipments of contraband originated from the eastern region of the U.S. and were destined to …. Costa Rica.

      • On May 15, officers seized $29,000.00 in US Currency. The cash was concealed within magazines and parcels destined for Costa Rica. 
      • On May 15, officers seized $19,000.00 in US Currency in a second shipment. The cash was concealed within magazines, book and documents also destined for Costa Rica.

“The outbound cargo environment in Miami is the gateway to the Caribbean and South America, in which criminal enterprises attempt to use transportation routes traffic drugs, guns and money,” said Christopher D. Matson, CBP Port Director at Miami International Airport. “CBP’s Outbound Enforcement Team continues to conduct outbound sweeps of cargo resulting in significant seizures that disrupt dangerous criminal networks.”

CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

Has CBP seized your money?

Has 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.

Customs Seized 10,000 Fake Designer Handbags in Miami

Customs seized fake handbags, for which the value would be nearly $5 million dollars if they were genuine. After the handbags are seized and determined to be counterfeit, CBP can assess a penalty against the importer of counterfeit goods, even if they believed them to be genuine. The penalty is based off the manufacturer’s suggest retail price of the counterfeit merchandise, as if it had been genuine. Therefore, there’s a very strong reason to believe that the person who imported these bags is going to be facing at least a $5 million dollar penalty. Here is an excerpt from the full story:

Customs seizure of counterfeit handbags.
A customs seizure of counterfeit handbags valued at nearly $5 million dollars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Miami seaport seized 10,788 high-fashion counterfeit Gucci and Coach handbags arriving in a shipment from China on July 15. Had the goods been genuine, the designer handbags would have an estimated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $4,904,160.

CBP officers initially suspected the handbags to be counterfeit since they did not appear to be of the quality consistent with the products normally authorized and manufactured by the trademark holders. CBP import specialists examined samples and confirmed the items to be counterfeit.

You might be facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit merchandise. We can help. Typically, we recommended preparing and filing a petition, with the assistance of legal counsel, which argues persuasively for the substantial mitigation, or when the facts and law warrant it, cancellation of the penalty in full.

Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE). If you have had merchandise seized by customs because they allege it is counterfeit and contains trademark violations and/or have a received a notice of penalty for importing alleged counterfeits or for making an importation contrary to law, 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 petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

CBP Seizes $51k Cash and Make Arrest

At Miami airport, a traveler from Chile had a run in with U.S. Customs & Border Protection that resulted in a seizure of $51,777. As disclosed by the story below (full version HERE), it a resulted in an arrest, presumably for a currency reporting violation — reporting $20,000 even though he was transporting more than $50,000, and/or dividing his money between he and other travelers in what is commonly called a “structuring” violation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at Miami International Airport (MIA) arrested a Chilean citizen Thursday for violating federal currency reporting requirements.

During a secondary inspection on July 9th, the man, who arrived from Santiago, Chile, reported possessing $20,000 USD. It was later discovered that the man had given money to three co-travelers in order to evade currency reporting requirements, an illegal practice known as currency structuring. In total, the cash added up to $51,777. CBP officers seized the money and arrested the subject. The subject and currency were turned over to Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD).

“Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report their currency, but those who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements face severe consequences, including potential criminal charges,” said Christopher Maston, Port Director, Miami International Airport.

The only different nuance in this story which is not altogether apparent is why the currency was turned over to the local police department. Typically, Customs seizes the currency, but apparently Customs did not want to be bothered with it in this case. My hunch would be that, in this case, there was more going on (i.e., criminally) than the failure to report and structuring, which resulted in arrest and local law enforcement getting involved in the arrest and seizure.

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