Traveler Fails to Report $21,000 Seized by CBP

$21,000 in cash seized by CBP at Washington-Dulles seized for currency reporting violations

Yesterday, CBP publicized a cash seizure from a female traveler who failed to report $21,000 in cash she was transporting before boarding her plane at Dulles airport.

The woman, bound for Pakistan via Turkey, verbally reported carrying $6,000. Thereafter, a customs officer searched her bags and discovered a total of $21,255.

This is a classic violation of 31 USC 5316, where a person fails to report cash being transported by them to CBP. A report of currency must be made on form FinCEN 105 and presented to CBP before departure. It is not enough to verbally report the money when asked.

CBP will also surely allege that this is also an instance of bulk cash smuggling, because she was provided with an opportunity to disclosure the full amount of money she carried, but only reported $6,000. They later had to find the full $21,255 in her bag.

Here’s the full story, from CBP:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $21,255 in unreported currency from a U.S. woman destined to Pakistan Friday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

While CBP officers conducted an outbound inspection of passengers on a Turkey-bound flight, officers encountered the woman and asked how much currency she possessed. She reported $6,000 and confirmed that she understood federal currency reporting requirements. Officers discovered several envelopes in her carry-on baggage with a total of $21,255 in U.S. currency. Officers released $255 to the woman for humanitarian purposes and seized $21,000 for violating federal currency reporting requirements.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges.

Have you had money seized by CBP?

If CBP has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read 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.