Dulles CBP officers seize $32,000 in unreported currency.

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Seized currency from Ghana bound traveler, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  media release, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $32,000 from a traveler headed to Ghana for violating currency reporting requirements.

While stopped by CBP, the US citizen and resident of Liberia made verbal representations he was in possession of $15,000. Additionally, the media release claims the traveler also declared in writing that he was only carrying $15,000. Not mentioned in the media release – but Customs will ask you to sign the Fincen form. If you are asked to sign this form, be sure to report ALL the currency you are carrying and include all the travelers in your group.

It is important to write the actual amount you have and anyone you are traveling with. Our clients have had their money seized for under reporting by just $8 dollars (yes, not a typo – eight dollars).

After the verbal and written declaration, CBP officers did a baggage examination and found a total of $33,040.

What’s not written in the article is the incredibly invasive nature of the baggage examination – CBP will take you and your luggage to a room and go through everything: unzip everything, check every pocket, check every sock, check every single item of clothing and open anything that can be opened. This will take a long time and you will miss your flight.

In the instant seizure, CBP returned $750 as a “humanitarian release” and allowed the traveler to continue on his way. The humanitarian release is a discretionary amount that does not have to be provided to the traveler and the amount returned can be nothing to several hundred. This humanitarian release of $750 is fairly generous for a single traveler –

If you have had your hard earned cash and currency seized by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text for immediate assistance – my number is 832-896-6288 or you can email me at my catch-all email: attorney.dave@yahoo.com or official work address: dh@gjatradelaw.com.

If you have received a seizure notice, don’t delay, time is running from the date of the letter and you must take action.

Customs seizes $32,000 in currency from travelers.

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Image of seized unreported currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers working at the San Antonio International Airport carried out 2 seizures of currency currency from travelers who under reported the amount of currency they were carrying.

In the first seizure, CBP officers stopped a pair of travelers arriving from Mexico. The travelers individually reported they were carrying less than $10,000, but upon subsequent questioning by CBP, admitted they divided the money amongst each other to get below the $10,000 threshold. This agreement among parties to divide the money amongst themselves is known as “structuring” in the eyes of Customs. The total amount seized from the two travelers totaled $14,807.

Similarly, in the second seizure, 2 Mexican nationals were detained and questioned regarding the amount of currency they were carrying. Both individuals reported carrying below the $10,000 threshold amount, however, they both admitted they divided the currency before boarding the flight. The combined amount of currency totaled $17,200.

In short, the two take aways are to always report how much currency you are carrying and to answer all questions by CBP truthfully.

Other tips to avoid currency seizures:

  1. Always declare any amounts you have.
  2. Always declare any currency (regardless of denomination), monetary instruments such as checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, etc.
  3. If you are traveling in a group, count the group as one.

While not mentioned, I believe the travelers were alerted to CBP by trained dogs and then the travelers were followed on camera prior to the flight.

“Travelers are provided multiple opportunities to mak

If you or someone you know have had their hard earned currency seized by Customs, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Undeclared currency seized by traveler to Lebanon.

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, a passenger traveling to Lebanon had her undeclared currency seized at Philadelphia International Airport.

CBP officers approached the traveler and informed her of the currency reporting requirements. After explaining the requirements they asked the traveler how much money she was carrying. She replied $10,000 and upon subsequent examination or her belongings, CBP officers seized a total of $15,000.

Customs released $300 to her for “humanitarian purposes” and released her.

As you are aware, all currency over $10,000 needs to be declared. The currency is not taxed nor taken, but only has to be reported. People traveling in the same party are subject to the $10,000 limit as a party and not individually. The humanitarian relief is a discretionary amount and is not always given to the travelers.

If you have had a  currency seizure at the airport or any of the 400+ ports of entry to the US, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Officers seizes $19k in money from US travelers.

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Photo by John Guccione http://www.advergroup.com on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $19,000 in unreported currency from a couple of Morocco-bound travelers over the holidays. 

The couple was stopped at the airport (CBP will usually stop you as you board your flight) and told CBP they understood the federal currency reporting requirements. They then signed a document saying they possessed $8,000 in currency. As a side note – this is the FinCen form. I believe CBP stops people as they board the flight as people are usually in a hurry and want to just get on their flight – so may not correctly declare how much money they are carrying.

As you are aware, you have to report to CBP if you are carrying $10,000 in currency. CBP will not take it away and the amount is not taxed – it just has to be reported.

In this instance, CBP officers discovered $19,651 in currency (they will count the traveling group as 1, and not each individual member of the group). CBP also released back to the travelers $651 in what is known as “humanitarian purposes” before the travelers boarded their flight.

If you have had your hard earned money seized by Customs, or if you experience any customs seizure, contact experienced customs law attorney David Hsu by email/text at 832-896-6288 or attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes more undeclared currency from travelers.

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CBP currency detector dog Cato, source: CBP.gov

According to a Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized unreported currency from several travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport.

In the first seizure, a CBP currency detector dog Cato (pictured above) alerted CBP to baggage owned by a couple from Turkey. When stopped by Customs, the travelers declared they had $5,000. Upon a subsequent search, CBP discovered $20,654 in currency. CBP returned $654 in humanitarian relief and seized the remainder.

In the second seizure, CBP officers inspected a couple bound for Ghana who reported they possessed $36,000 in writing and verbally. A subsequent examination discovered $40,781 in their possession. Like above, CBP released $781 in humanitarian relief while seizing the remaining balance.

As previously discussed on my blog, you can carry large amounts of money, and those who are carrying $10,000 or more must report all of the amount to Customs.

If you are ever asked to declare how much you are carrying, if you do not know the exact amount, be sure to declare more than you are carrying. Also, be sure to include all your family members or everyone you are traveling with in the final calculation.

If you or someone you know has had their currency seized by Customs, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com and dh@gjatradeaw.com.

$715k in US currency seized from bus entering the US from Mexico.

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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers in Hidalgo intercepted $715,010 in unreported U.S. currency in a commercial bus attempting to enter into Mexico on September 24th.

The officers were conducting an outbound operation at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and stopped the bus for further inspection. Officers used an imaging system and found 32 packages containing US currency hidden in the bus.

The hidden currency was seized by CBP and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) were involved.

In general, if HSI is involved, CBP believes the currency is the proceeds or will be used for illegal activities.

If you have had your currency seized by CBP, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance. Phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $17k from Jamaica-bound Traveler.

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Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

According to a Customs media release, CBP officers in Philadelphia seized $16,542 in unreported currency from a traveler heading to Jamaica.

Upon initial questioning, the traveler indicated to CBP officials he was carrying $6,000. CBP then explained to him the reporting requirements and the traveler indicated in writing he was carrying $8,000. Upon secondary inspection, CBP found $16,542 in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

What do you do if Customs asks how much you are carrying?
Be truthful and tell them how much you are carrying, even if it exceeds the $10,000.

Do I sign the form they present to me?
Sometimes CBP will ask you to sign a form indicating how much money you are carrying – fill out that form truthfully and declare all the money you are carrying.

I’m traveling with my family, do I include the currency they are carrying?
Yes, count the currency of everyone traveling in your party (your kids, spouse, parents, in-laws, friends, etc).

They seized my currency, what do I do?
Contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288. I’m available 24/7 by phone or text. Or email me anytime at my personal email: attorney.dave@yahoo.com or my work email: dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

CBP seizes $170k in smuggled cash.

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Image of seized cash in bundles, hidden in tailgate. Source: CBP media relations website.

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a seizure of $170,000 dollars in money hidden in the tailgate of a pick-up truck.

According to the media release, the currency was wrapped in black tape and hidden within the tailgate of the truck.

CBP seized the money and the driver and passenger were placed into custody by Homeland Security Investigation special agents.


I’ve handled countless currency seizures and here are some answers to currency seizure questions you may or may not have:

Can they get the seized money back?
Most likely not – (1) because of the method taken to conceal the money, also, (2) the case was turned over to HSI instead of with CBP. If the case stayed with CBP, then they are dealing with FP&F. If a case is with HSI, then there’s likely no civil seizure petition method.

What do you have to show to get your seized money back?
Short version – you need to show legitimate source and use of funds. Every case is different, call David Hsu to discuss yours – 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP Seizes $129k in counterfeit goods.

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Screenshot of seized goods. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized $129,000 worth of counterfeit consumer goods. The seizure occurred at Dulles International Airport in late December when someone picked up a shipment described as “shoes bags scars”.

CBP officers examined the shipment and found 90 items of designer brand name shoes, bags, purses, belts and scarves. The officers suspected the shipments to be counterfeit and detained the merchandise.

Typically – CBP will send photos to the trademark holder to verify authenticity.  And as expected, most (all) trademark holders will determine the items to be counterfeit.

If you have had a counterfeit seizure, currency seizure or other detention/seizure by Customs, contact experienced trade and seizure attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP Officers Seize $1.0 million in currency in Juarez-Lincoln Bridge.

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Screengrab of the seized currency from the CBP website.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge seized approximately $1.0 million in unreported currency hidden inside a passenger vehicle during an outbound examination.

A 2010 Nissan Maxima was driven by a female U.S. Citizen and selected for examination. CBP officers initially used a non-intrusive imaging system scan followed up by a physical examination of the vehicle where they found 53 bundles containing a total of $988,550 in unreported currency within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency and arrested the driver then turned the case over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

If you or someone you know has had their hard-earned cash seized by Customs or ICE-HSI, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288. Call 24-hours or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.