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Detroit Customs Money Seizure

Have the US Customs and Border Patrol, Postal Inspectors, or the DEA seized your money or property in Detroit Michigan?

Detroit is the most populous city in Michigan, and is the seat of Wayne County. With its immense international border with Canada, it is a primary business, cultural, financial and transportation center in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people, and serves as a major port on the Detroit River connecting the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Detroit is also the headquarters of Customs and Border Patrol’s Detroit Sector, and area of responsibility which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Because of Detroit’s international character, its population, its major airport, its water ways and ports, Customs and Border Patrol has a heavy presence here. If you have been accused of carrying a “suspicious” amount of cash, currency, check or goods, and/or if  any of the aforementioned government agencies have seized it, it’s on you to prove that the money isn’t connected to some illegal purpose. With over 15+ years of combined experience, we as seizure defense lawyers can help, advocating for the cause of those whose assets have been seized. If this has happened to you, you need an experienced federal seizure defense attorney working for you.

Victim of a Detroit Customs Money Seizure? including the Detroit Metropolitan Airport , with offices in Detroit, we can help, our firm has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of similar clients and can help you too– if you or someone you know has had money or property taken by the US Customs and Border Patrol, Postal Inspectors, or the DEA, call our firm today for a free consultation! Our attorneys are ready to help you, time is of the essence. Call us now at 877-406-6906, or you can contact us with a private message.

Port Huron Michigan Customs Seizure: $55,591.00 US Currency Seized/$50,591.00 Returned

port-huron-mi

 

After nearly eight months of hard work, our team of customs attorneys recently recovered nearly $50,600.00 on behalf of a client whose funds were seized while crossing the US/Canada border in Port Huron, Michigan via the Blue Water Bridge.

This client, like many individuals traveling under stressful conditions, became flustered due to trouble crossing the border and failed to correctly report the amount of currency she possessed, merely as the result of confusion.  While she did, in good faith, report the money as required by law, she understated the amount she had.  Unfortunately, under reporting, just like failure to report at all, is enough to give US Customs and Border Patrol (US CBP) a reason to seize all the funds in a person’s possession.

Recovering money from US Customs requires individuals to quickly compile strong proof that the money seized is legitimate and that any failure to meet reporting requirements was an honest mistake.  Our customs lawyers spent months working to convince US CBP that the funds were from a legitimate source and that our client’s mistake was an honest one.  This process is long and complicated, and must be carried out strategically and with careful attention to the strict time limitations involved.  In order to obtain a successful recovery, as this client did, you need a lawyer who knows what kinds of proof will satisfy US CBP and who will zealously fight to get your money back before time runs out.

Port Huron Michigan Customs Seizure: $55,591.00 US Currency Seized/$50,591.00 Returned

The experts at our firm have recovered thousands of dollars on behalf of similar clients and may be able to help you too– if you or someone you know has lost money to US Customs and Border Patrol, call our firm today for a free consultation!  Our expert attorneys are standing by to give you the advice and tools you need to recover your money.  Time is of the essence so call us now at 877-406-6906, or contact us with a private message.

Laredo Port of Entry Customs Seizure

In one of the largest customs seizure cases in recent history, $460,000 was seized from a 31 year old man on February 1, 2013. The cash was hidden in various parts of the vehicle, a 2002 Dodge Ram.

Though it is rare for a person to be charged criminally for failure to disclose, here it seems pretty likely that this young man will be prosecuted. While this sort of cash smuggling seems egregious on its face, it is possible he will be able to prove a legitimate source and the intended use of the cash, and be able to explain why the monies where hidden throughout his vehicle. In this case he should be entitled to its return, minus costs and fees, but he is going to need a good attorney.

See: http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp?id=25116

Victim of a Laredo Port of Entry Customs Seizure?

We have expert attorneys who practice throughout the US and who are dedicated to serving you, so call us now for a free consultation at 877-406-6906, or contact us with a private message. Time is of the essence!

What does NOT constitute a Monetary instrument for the purposes of 31 USC §5317?

Monetary instrument

Monetary instruments:

In other words what types of currency CAN you bring in or out of the country without declaring it (i.e. what is not a Monetary instrument)? As you may remember traveler’s checks, foreign currency equaling the amount of $10,000.00 USD, and endorsed checks all count. The U.S. customs and border protection department has put forth a helpful list:

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/publications/travel/currency_rpt_flyer/currency_reporting.ctt/currency_reporting.pdf

The most interesting exception here is that for unendorsed checks. This means if you have not signed the back of the check, you can easily evade reporting requirements. Also of note, what is a bill of lading? This is not a common legal term, but it means “a document signed by a carrier (transporter of goods) or the carrier’s representative and issued to a consignor (the shipper of goods) that evidences the receipt of goods for shipment to a designation and person.”

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/bill+of+lading

Time is of the essence in currency seizure cases and it is important to immediately file a petition for relief. The longer the money remains in the custody of U.S. Customs, the more likely that the assets will be forfeited to the government. Customs seizure law is complex, and it is important to have experienced legal representation throughout the process. Most of the currency that is seized will ultimately be forfeited to the government, primarily due to a lack of aggressive recovery efforts. This is an area of the law where an attorney with expertise can prove extremely valuable.

To retain our experienced customs seizures lawyers call (877) 406-6906., or contact us with a private message, we practice throughout the US.

31 USC §5224(c)(3): Dividing money and/or property to avoid import and export requirements. Legal loophole, or foolish rabbit hole?

D31 USC §5224(c)(3), dividing money and/or property to avoid import and export requirements, Dulles International Airport Money Seizure

Dividing money and/or property to avoid import and export requirements:

Customs seizure law 31 USC  § 5317 requires a party to report if they are carrying more than $10,000.00 in monetary instruments. Nine times out of ten, it turns out that clients have run afoul of this requirement by mistake. The customs agents and investigators know this, but statute does not require bad faith: it is basically strict liability. If you are carrying more than $10,000.00 it will be seized, regardless of whether it was a mistake or not. Most frequently people have forgotten they are carrying so much money, do not realize that things like traveler’s checks are considered monetary instruments, or they fail to account for the sums that others they are traveling with are carrying. Generally our offices can prove that these people are innocent owners of the money, and that it was sourced legally with the result of getting a full refund of the assets.

However, what about the case where customs agents genuinely believe you are trying to smuggle money out of the country? For example if you have $19,000.00 that you are trying to get to a relative for whatever reason and it has been split into two separate transactions of $9,500.00. Will this avoid customs seizure and ramifications? 31 USC §5224(c)(3) provides:

(c) International Monetary Instrument Transactions.— No person shall, for the purpose of evading the reporting requirements of section 5316

(1) fail to file a report required by section 5316, or cause or attempt to cause a person to fail to file such a report;

(2) file or cause or attempt to cause a person to file a report required under section5316 that contains a material omission or misstatement of fact; or

(3) structure or assist in structuring, or attempt to structure or assist in structuring, any importation or exportation of monetary instruments.

According to this, it is illegal to ask a friend to carry some amount (and also ineffective if you are traveling together), or to send funds weeks or even years apart. Regardless of whether you have other reasons to split up the money, if even one of your reasons is to get around the statute you are in violation. Remember, in a customs seizure proceeding the burden is on you, the Petitioner not the government to prove that you are an innocent owner of the money, that it was sourced lawfully, and that you did not split it up for the purposes of avoiding the federal statute.

See some examples of what the government considers “Structuring” in its self-published pamphlet:

http://www.fincen.gov/whatsnew/pdf/CTRPamphletBW.pdf

Time is of the essence in currency seizure cases and it is important to immediately file a petition for relief. The longer the money remains in the custody of U.S. Customs, the more likely that the assets will be forfeited to the government. Customs seizure law is complex, and it is important to have experienced legal representation throughout the process. Most of the currency that is seized will ultimately be forfeited to the government, primarily due to a lack of aggressive recovery efforts. This is an area of the law where an attorney with expertise can prove extremely valuable.

To retain our experienced customs seizures lawyers call (877) 406-6906., or contact us with a private message, we practice throughout the US.

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