Best PracticesCurrency SeizureInvestigationSeizuresU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Civil Forfeiture – Know Your Rights!

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 27, 2019 2 Comments


Routinely, individuals in the U.S. have property taken from them under “Asset Forfeiture” laws and are unaware of their rights.  Civil judicial forfeiture does not require a criminal conviction, and is a powerful legal tool used by law enforcement and Federal Agencies to seize property that is involved in a crime. Fines and forfeitures have become a key source of revenue, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The majority of federal forfeiture cases are uncontested when there is a related criminal case. Administrative forfeiture occurs when property is seized but no one files a claim to contest the seizure. Property that can be administratively forfeited includes merchandise prohibited from importation; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value. Federal law imposes strict deadlines and notification requirements in the administrative forfeiture process. If the seizure is contested, then the U.S. government is required to use either criminal or civil judicial forfeiture proceedings to gain title to the property.

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CounterfeitsCurrency SeizureInternational LawInternational TradeIPR, Trademarks and LogosSeizuresU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP Sued Over Mandatory Hold Harmless Release Agreement

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 18, 2018 1 Comment

jkhkjhDid you know that when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) decides to release goods that were seized by CBP, it requires that you sign a Hold Harmless Release Agreement, as a prerequisite to receiving goods, which prevents you from filing suit against the government (for example for wrongfully detaining your goods)? Well this is a common practice among CBP and now a class action lawsuit is being brought against CBP for this practice.

How Did This Lawsuit Come About?

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Currency SeizureInternational TravelSeizuresU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

International Travelers Beware – U.S. Customs WILL Seize Your Money…

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 13, 2013 9 Comments

Money given away

International travelers often contact me with the same distraught face as the man pictured to my left, after their money is confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a result of not properly declaring currency on hand.

Declaration Form 6059B will look familiar to all international travelers as you fill it out when entering the U.S.  Many times, the rationale for seizure is that parties traveling together split their currency, and even though together they have over the $10,000 minimum, the travelers advise they are each carrying less then the $10,000 minimum requirement for reporting (in question 13 of Form 6059B), resulting in ALL of the currency on hand being seized. On a Typical Day in Fiscal Year 2015, CBP seized $356,396 in undeclared or illicit currency.

Recently, CBP seized $82,000 of currency, and arrested the female driver, after discovering three packages of bulk currency hidden within a vehicle as a female driver attempted to exit the U.S. and enter Mexico.

During this holiday season, this post will tell you what you need to know to assure it’s NOT YOU that has their currency seized when traveling internationally!

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Best PracticesCurrency SeizureSeizuresU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Can I Bring in More Than $10,000 to the United States When Travelling? / ¿Puedo Viajar Con Más De 10,000 Dólares A Los Estados Unidos?

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 10, 2012 41 Comments

I’m coming back into the United States and I need to bring in more than $10,000. I heard that it is illegal to bring that much money into the U.S. when you travel. Am I allowed to bring in more than $10,000 to the U.S. when I travel? 

The simple answer to this question is: YES

Many people are under the impression that you are not allowed to carry more than $10,000 into the United States; this is nothing more than an urban legend. The fact is that you may legally carry any amount of money you want into or out of the United States, but there is a catch. When transporting more than $10,000, you must file a report declaring the exact amount of funds you are transporting to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). To be clear, there are no customs duties, taxes or other fees paid to U.S. Customs for the international transportation of the money; it is merely a reporting requirement to U.S. Customs.  On a Typical Day in Fiscal Year 2015, CBP seized $356,396 in undeclared or illicit currency.

If persons traveling together have $10,000 or more, they cannot divide the currency between each other to avoid declaring the currency. For example, if one person is carrying $5,000 and the other has $6,000, they have a total of $11, 000 in their possession and must report it.

What happens if you don’t declare your money? The penalties and repercussions can be severe. If you are stopped by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer and more than $10,000 is found on your person or in your belongings and this money was not declared, you run the very real risk of CBP taking all of the money you were carrying… and keeping it. Failure to report the international transportation of money is serious business. Not only could you lose your money forever, you may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

On a side note, reporting requirements are not limited to cash dollars. The same requirements apply for various monetary instruments, including foreign currency, traveler’s checks, domestic or foreign bank notes, securities or stocks in bearer form. To learn more about the requirements of the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act, click here.

And if you are reading this blog post because you failed to report your funds and CBP has seized your money, your best bet is to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with these matters (info@diaztradelaw.com). There is an administrative process by which you can attempt to recuperate your funds and having the assistance of a skilled attorney is key to maximizing your chance of getting your money back and minimizing your chances of exposing yourself to civil and criminal fines.

My firm and I are greatly experienced with these matters, having handled hundreds of these types of cases nationwide. This is a Federal process most often done through email, telephone and snail mail correspondence with the Federal Government and so we can help no matter where in the country you are located or your monies were seized. Although we are located in South Florida, we handle cases all over the country. 

We have a webpage dedicated to Currency Seizures HERE with REAL SEIZURE NOTICE examples from CBP, a video describing the process and a sampling of some of our REAL successful results.

*Successful Past Results

Some REAL examples include:

  • $54,000 Seized by CBP – $49,000 Returned to our client
  • $50,800 Seized by CBP – $45,800 Returned to our client
  • $39,000 Seized by CBP – $36,500 Returned to our client
  • $37,360 Seized by CBP – $33,500 Returned to our client
  • $31,062 Seized by CBP – $28,562 Returned to our client
  • $16,334 Seized by CBP – $15,334 Returned to our client

Additional blog posts on currency seizures may be found HERE.

Contact us at info@diaztradelaw.com today to discuss your specific case.


Estoy regresando a los Estados Unidos y necesito traer más de 10,000 dólares. Escuché que cuando viajas, es ilegal traer tanto dinero a los Estados Unidos. ¿Puedo viajar a los Estados Unidos con más de 10,000 dólares?

La respuesta a dicha pregunta es: SI.

Muchas personas especulan que no se permite traer más de 10,000 dólares a los Estados Unidos; Sin embargo, esto no es más que una leyenda urbana. El hecho es que, sí se puede transportar legalmente cualquier cantidad de dinero que desee dentro o fuera de los Estados Unidos, mediante un procedimiento. Cuando se transporta más de 10,000 dólares, usted debe presentar un informe ante La Aduana y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos (CBP) donde declare la cantidad exacta de fondos que está transportando. Para aclarar, no hay impuestos u otras tarifas que se deba pagar a la Aduana de los Estados Unidos por el transporte internacional del dinero; Simplemente es un requisito de notificación. En un día típico del año fiscal 2015, la CBP incautó un total de $356,396 en moneda no declarada o ilícita.

Si las personas que viajan juntas tienen 10,000 dólares o más, no pueden dividirse el dinero entre ellos para evitar declarar el dinero. Por ejemplo, si una persona lleva $5,000 y la otra tiene $6,000, tienen un total de $11,000 en su poder, por tal motivo deben declararlo.

¿Qué pasa si no declaras tú dinero? Las penalizaciones y repercusiones pueden ser severas. Si un oficial de la Aduana y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos lo detiene y encuentra que posee más de 10,000 dólares, bien sea en efectivo o en sus pertenencias monetarias, no declarados, usted corre el riesgo de que CBP decomise todo su dinero… y se lo quede. El no reportar el transporte internacional de dinero es un asunto serio. No solo podría perder su dinero para siempre, sino que también puede estar sujeto a sanciones civiles y penales.

Por otro lado, los requisitos para reportar no se limitan a dólares en efectivo. Los mismos requisitos se aplican a diversos instrumentos monetarios, incluyendo moneda extranjera, cheques de viajero, billetes de banco nacionales o extranjeros, valores o acciones en forma de portador. Para obtener más información sobre los requisitos de la Ley de Divulgación y Transacciones Extranjeras, haga clic aquí.

Si está leyendo este blog porque no reportó sus fondos y CBP ha decomisado su dinero, lo mejor que puede hacer es comunicarse con un abogado que tenga conocimiento y experiencia en estos asuntos. Contáctenos a través de info@diaztradelaw.com. Existe un proceso administrativo mediante el cual puede intentar recuperar sus fondos. Sin embargo, es esencial contar con la asistencia de un abogado calificado para maximizar sus posibilidades de recuperar su dinero y minimizar sus posibilidades de exponerse a multas civiles y penales.

Diaz Trade Law (DTL) posee mucha experiencia en estos asuntos, ya que ha manejado cientos de estos tipos de casos a nivel nacional. Este es un proceso federal que se realiza con mayor frecuencia a través de correo electrónico, el teléfono y correspondencia por correo postal con el Gobierno Federal, por lo que podemos ayudarlo sin importar en qué lugar del país se encuentre o en que parte de los Estados Unidos se decomisó su dinero. Aunque estamos ubicados en el sur de la Florida, manejamos casos en todo el país.

DTL cuenta con una página web dedicada a incautaciones de moneda con ejemplos reales de AVISOS DE INCAUTACION, un video que describe el proceso y una muestra de algunos de nuestros resultados REALES y exitosos.

* Resultados Exitosos

Algunos ejemplos REALES incluyen:

  • $ 54,000 incautados por CBP – $ 49,000 devueltos a nuestro cliente
  • $ 50,800 incautados por CBP – $ 45,800 devueltos a nuestro cliente
  • $ 39,000 incautados por CBP – $ 36,500 devueltos a nuestro cliente
  • $ 37,360 incautados por CBP – $ 33,500 devueltos a nuestro cliente
  • $ 31,062 incautados por CBP – $ 28,562 devueltos a nuestro cliente
  • $ 16,334 incautados por CBP – $ 15,334 devueltos a nuestro cliente

AQUÍ  pueden encontrar publicaciones adicionales sobre incautaciones de dinero.

Contáctenos hoy al correo electrónico: info@diaztradelaw.com para discutir el mérito de su caso.

International Travel

Carrying Cash When Traveling Internationally

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 3, 2009 2 Comments


Jennifer Diaz, Florida Customs and International Trade LawyerThere are many reasons to be detained by an officer of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when returning to the United States, but you wouldn’t think that one of those reasons would be because you have too much cash on you. CBP doesn’t come right out and say “show me the money”, but travelers are required to report monies over $10,000 and a supplemental form must be completed by the traveler. In speaking with many foreign travelers, the big misconception is that taxes, customs duties, or some other fee must be paid to the United States Government on the monies over $10,000. WRONG! 

Think about this, who travels with large amounts of money and for what? The most cash heavy travelers are gamblers attending Poker Tournaments, and tradeshow vendors/buyers that travel abroad to make their purchases. Do you really think that they pay customs duties on the cash- NO. On the merchandise possibly, but that’s another blog.

If you do not declare the cash you have and CBP finds it, you will not only forfeit all of your money, but you may also have to pay a penalty and possibly be criminally prosecuted.

In speaking with a few United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, CBP is more concerned about where the money came from and the reasons for carrying large amounts of cash than anything else. In today’s economy, could your average Joe Traveler just go to the bank and withdraw $10,000 and travel abroad? The answer is probably not. However, could the average Jane Buyer withdraw legitimate company funds, travel to a vendor’s factory and make purchases? Absolutely!

It basically comes down to these Do’s and Don’ts: 

  • Do advise CBP of what you have.
  • Don’t, under any circumstances, lie to CBP. 
  • Do declare the exact amount you are carrying.
  • Don’t try to hide money throughout your person and/or luggage with the thought that “They’ll never look there”, because they will. 
  • Do keep a record from where you withdrew the funds you are carrying.
  • Don’t try to pass off money to your traveling companion so the amount carried is less than $10,000. 
  • Don’t try to handle the matter without legal counsel familiar with these matters.

It’s not rocket science, but if you are willing to take a chance on CBP seizing your cash, the old adage comes to mind, “A fool and his gold are soon parted!”