Tag: petition

Stacks containing $125,306 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers at Laredo Port of Entry.

CBP Laredo seizes $125K in smuggled cash

Last month, CBP officers in Laredo seized $125,000 in bulk cash smuggled out of the USA into Mexico. The story highlights the consequences of failing to report currency amounts exceeding $10,000 and engaging in bulk cash smuggling, both civil and criminal offenses that can result in currency seizure criminal jeopardy.

Unless as person is involved in other illegal activity (i.e., drug crimes, money laundering, etc) then it’s unlikely the person will face criminal charges for simply carrying or hiding more than $10,000. Most of our (more than 630) clients over the past 14 years have never faced criminal prosecution for their currency reporting violations.

They do, however, usually face a difficult bureaucracy, confusing procedures, differing options, and arbitrary denials quite regularly. We specialize in navigating this complex terrain and providing assistance. But first, let’s delve into the details of this recent seizure publicized by CBP:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge recently seized over $125,000 in unreported currency hidden within a passenger vehicle during an outbound examination.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of our CBP officers who continue to maintain law and order,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.  “Currency seizures intercepted play a significant role in reinforcing border security and safeguarding communities from the threat of illicit activities.”

The seizure occurred on Monday, November 20 at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge when a CBP officer conducting outbound examinations selected a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu driven by a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen for examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive physical examination and discovered a total of $125,306 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Laredo?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Laredo, 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.

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