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. –U.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.
“A person can travel with any amount of currency they wish, there is no limit” said Paul Mongillo, CBP Port Director for the Port of Champlain. “The requirement is to declare amounts exceeding $10,000. This requirement is for currency entering and leaving the U.S.”
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:
- Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
- Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
- Structuring currency imports and exports
- Is it $10,000 per person? Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
- Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
- Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
- How do I get my seized money back from customs?
- Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
- How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
- Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
- Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations