Customs and Border Protection Confiscated My Cash! By Daniel Smith

Conficacion is the Spanish word you might hear at the Mexican Border, but the fact of the matter is that U.S. currency is being taken form individuals everyday under a variety of code sections. 19USC1595a(a), 49USC80302, 21USC952(a)/844, 18USC545 are often cited in the Notice of Seizure. Recently, my client had $8,700 (which is under the legal limit to report) taken from him under the Financial Code F.C. 2152(a) which is meant for money transmitters such as Money Gram or Western Union. So what is going on? Well last year, the United States Government through various agencies such as the DEA, FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection among other agencies seize 2.5 billion dollars in assets. You may receive a letter from (USCBP) indicating the appraised domestic value of your property. Why is that important? Because if you choose to fight the seizure and show, for instance, that your wife had no idea that her spouse was smuggling drugs to supplement income, or that a worker had driven your commercial truck or bus with drugs in the vehicle and you want and need to get it back. You must be prepared, in some instances, to post a ten percent bond to fight the case in court with a competent law firm to have the best chance. So, if the appraised value is $30,000 you should be prepared to post a $3,000 bond. That is, with a good law firm, you may not have to post the bond, but you need to be prepared. The letter will have the sentence underlined An important document is enclosed in this letter. Please do not ignore it. What it does not say is that you should consult a law firm to make the proper “Election of Proceedings” and that much is true. If you are confused, call us. You only have 30 days from the time you receive the letter. It has been sent to you because the Government believes you may have an interest in the property. That means you may be entitled to a portion or all of the property depending on the circumstances. A good law firm will provide you the protection of the attorney client privilege not to say anything that will get you into trouble. So, wives, esposas, business owners, patrones and duenos call us for help.