If you are planning on entering the U.S. from any port of entry (i.e.- Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, Ambassador Bridge, Blue Water Bridge, Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, ferry, etc.) anytime soon, you must educate yourself on the U.S. Currency Reporting Requirements.
The law provides that if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000.00 or its foreign equivalent at one time from the United States to any foreign country, or into the United States from any foreign country, you must file a report with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This report is called the Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, FinCEN Form 105.
“Monetary Instruments” include-
- U.S. or foreign coins and currency;
- Travelers checks in any form;
- Negotiable instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) that are either in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee, or otherwise in a form that the funds can be transferred to another person;
- Incomplete instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) signed, but with the payee’s name omitted; and
- Securities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in a form that the funds can be transferred to another person.
“Monetary Instruments” do NOT include-
- Checks or money orders made payable to the order of a named person which have not been endorsed or which bear restrictive endorsements;
- Warehouse receipts; or
- Bills of lading.
Reporting is required under the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act (PL 97-258, 31 U.S.C. 5311, et seq.). Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties and may lead to forfeiture of your monetary instrument. The purpose of the law is to prevent money laundering and to prevent criminal activity that is often times associated with cash transactions (i.e.- drugs).
The Government has Seized my Money. What are My Options? Must I forfeit my money?
All hope is not lost once the government seizes your money. You do not have to forfeit your money as options are available. Once the government seizes your money, it is critical to retain a lawyer immediately as time is of the essence. You are more likely to prejudice your case the longer you wait.
When the government has seized your money, you must file a petition for relief to get your money back. Otherwise, you automatically forfeit your money to the government. When filing a petition for relief with the government, you will have to prove the source of your funds and that there was a legitimate use of the funds. There is no exact science for getting your money back. That is why it is so critical to have a lawyer represent you. We have a record of success in dealing with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Do not take the government on by yourself because your risk of failure is increased.
Has your government seized your money? Or has the government begun civil forfeiture proceedings against you? We know the law and have helped others fight the government and get their money back. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call Attorney Brian Garmo at (248) 398-7100 ext. 2 for a free consultation.