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Washington Dulles International Airport Money Cash Seizure Lawyers

Washington Dulles International Airport Money and Cash Seizure Lawyers

Traveling through Washington Dulles International Airport with more than $10,000 in cash or monetary instruments? You better report it to customs officials, or you could lose it all. That’s right – the government can legally seize any undeclared money you’re carrying, even if it was obtained 100% legally. Pretty crazy right? But it’s the law under the Bank Secrecy Act, which aims to combat money laundering and criminal activity. Still, even innocent travelers often run afoul of these little-known currency reporting rules. And getting your hard-earned cash back once it’s seized is no easy feat.

That’s why if you’re an international traveler carrying a large amount of cash, you NEED to understand your rights and responsibilities under U.S. currency reporting laws. And if your money does get seized, you’ll want to contact an experienced Washington Dulles currency seizure attorney right away. Keep reading this comprehensive guide to learn everything you need to know about currency reporting at Dulles Airport, including how to avoid cash seizures, get seized money returned, and fight back against unlawful confiscations.

Currency Reporting Laws at Washington Dulles Airport – The Bank Secrecy Act

Let’s start with the basics – what does the law actually say about bringing cash into or out of the U.S.? Well the main law is called the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), passed in 1970 to combat money laundering and other financial crimes. The BSA requires international travelers to REPORT all cash or monetary instruments over $10,000 when entering or leaving the country. Monetary instruments include things like cashier’s checks, money orders, stocks, etc. – basically anything that can substitute for cash.

To comply with the BSA, you must fill out a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (FinCEN 105). You’ll find these reporting forms at customs when you arrive in or depart from the U.S. It’s crucial you fill out the form accurately, reporting the total amount of cash/monetary instruments you’re carrying, even if split up among various bags or people in your travel group.

Here’s the catch – if you fail to properly complete the form, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can seize ALL your undeclared cash on the spot! This is true even if the money comes from 100% legal sources. And getting seized cash returned is an uphill battle, as we’ll discuss shortly.

No Limit on Amount of Cash You Can Bring

Importantly, U.S. law does NOT prohibit bringing any amount of cash into or out of the country. You can carry $1 million in cash if you want! The BSA only requires it to be reported. As CBP states: “There is no limit to how much money you may take out of or bring into the United States. However, if you carry more than $10,000, you will need to report it.”

Penalties for Not Reporting Can Be Severe

Now what happens if you don’t properly report your cash to CBP? Well unfortunately, the consequences can be severe:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
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Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
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Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
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2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
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2024-03-12
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2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
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divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Your undeclared cash will likely be seized on the spot by CBP
  • You may miss your flight or have travel plans interrupted
  • You can face criminal charges for “bulk cash smuggling” in some cases
  • It will be a long uphill battle to get the seized cash returned

CBP takes unreported currency very seriously. In 2022, CBP seized around $65 million in undeclared cash from travelers! And the numbers keep rising every year. Clearly, you don’t want to take any chances of having your money confiscated.

When Leaving U.S., Report Before Departure

One important tip – if you’re leaving the U.S. with over $10K in cash, you can actually file the FinCEN 105 form BEFORE your departure date. In fact, CBP recommends doing this whenever possible. That way there are no surprises or hold ups when you go through customs pre-departure. You can fill out and submit the form online here: CBP Currency Reporting Website.

Cash Seizures at Washington Dulles – It’s Happening Every Day

You might think unreported currency cases are rare. But the truth is, cash seizures happen on a daily basis at Dulles Airport. In August 2022 for example, CBP officers seized $95,000 in unreported cash from travelers in just one bust. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – Dulles CBP seizes millions in undeclared currency every single year.

Often times, the money is seized from travelers headed to Africa or Asia, where cash-based economies are more common. But really anyone leaving or entering the U.S. is at risk, especially if carrying envelopes, bags or boxes that could conceal cash.

CBP even uses specially trained currency sniffing K-9 dogs at Dulles, who can detect large amounts of unreported money. So simply stashing cash in your luggage won’t help if a dog flags it for inspection.

CBP Looks for These Red Flags

What exactly triggers cash seizures by Dulles CBP officers? Here are some common red flags they look for:

  • Bags, boxes or luggage that could conceal currency
  • Acting nervous or avoiding eye contact
  • Providing inconsistent or illogical travel history
  • Traveling to or from countries with cash-based economies
  • Alert from a currency sniffing canine

But often times, no red flags are even needed. Dulles CBP simply inspects travelers’ bags and finds unreported cash. So you should never attempt to hide money or avoid reporting it, even if totally legitimately obtained.

Getting Seized Cash Back – Challenging CBP Seizures

Now what if CBP does seize your cash at Dulles despite your best efforts? Is there any way to get the money returned? Well yes, but it’s an uphill battle unless you obtain experienced legal help right away.

Here is the process to try recovering seized cash from CBP:

  1. File a Seized Asset Claim Form within 30 days explaining the lawful source/intended use of funds.
  2. CBP reviews your claim and evidence; may return cash if compelling proof it’s legitimate.
  3. If claim denied, file court challenge against seizure within deadline.
  4. Prove in court the seizure violated due process or was otherwise unlawful.
  5. If successful, CBP will be ordered to return your cash.

As you can see, the system is stacked against travelers whose money is seized. CBP sets a high bar for returning cash, and they have the upper hand in negotiations. An experienced attorney levels the playing field.

Proving Lawful Source and Use of Funds

The key when challenging a cash seizure is providing concrete evidence of the money’s lawful source and intended legal use. For example:

  • Business receipts proving legitimate income or transactions
  • Bank records tracing cash withdrawals or transfers
  • Real estate documents for property sales/closings
  • Records showing medical or family needs for the cash overseas
  • Affidavits from credible witnesses familiar with the funds

Without proper evidence, CBP will likely refuse to return seized cash. But an experienced attorney knows exactly what documents and proof CBP looks for.

Fighting Unlawful Cash Seizures

In some cases, CBP’s seizure of unreported cash violates due process or is otherwise unlawful. Experienced lawyers can file a federal court claim against CBP challenging the legitimacy of the seizure in these situations. Grounds can include:

  • Traveler was given inadequate notice of reporting requirements
  • CBP denied opportunity to properly report cash before seizure
  • Reporting violation was merely technical or harmless error
  • Seizure was disproportionate to offense
  • Money is unrelated to any illegal activity

With skilled legal advocacy, many unlawful cash seizures can be overturned in court, forcing CBP to return the seized funds. But you need to act quickly – there are strict deadlines for challenging seizures.

Avoiding Cash Seizures at Washington Dulles Airport

Now that you know getting seized cash back is difficult, here are some tips to avoid currency reporting issues and cash seizures in the first place:

  • Know the reporting limits – You must report cash/monetary instruments over $10,000
  • Report BEFORE departing U.S. – File FinCEN 105 form online prior to departure day
  • Report at customs – Honestly disclose on forms how much cash you’re carrying
  • Report aggregate amounts – Include cash split up among multiple people/bags
  • Never lie or conceal cash – CBP can seize unreported money
  • Save receipts – Proving legitimate source of funds helps get cash back if seized

The bottom line is – if you comply FULLY with currency reporting rules, you should avoid having any issues with cash seizures by Dulles CBP. But if they do seize your money despite best efforts, contact a lawyer immediately for help getting it back.

Washington Dulles Currency Seizure Lawyers – Let Us Fight for Your Money

Have your rights been violated by an unlawful currency seizure at Dulles Airport? Don’t let CBP get away with taking your hard-earned cash without a fight. The experienced Washington Dulles currency seizure attorneys at Smith, Jones & White Law Firm are here to help travelers like you recover seized funds and challenge improper confiscations.

We have extensive experience representing clients in currency seizure and forfeiture cases against CBP and other federal agencies. We know exactly how to build a strong claim proving your cash is 100% legitimate and that any seizure was unlawful. With aggressive and strategic legal advocacy, we can put maximum pressure on CBP to return your wrongfully confiscated money.

Don’t go it alone against the government – their army of lawyers will eat you alive. You NEED a seasoned legal fighter in your corner.

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