Many people have had cashed seized by TSA, DEA or other 3 letter federal agency at the airport. This is more and more often when people are traveling with cash within the US or even with less than $10,000 in or outside of the United States. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO TRAVEL WITH CASH. If you are traveling out of the countyr, you may have to declare your cash, but that does not stop them from executing a seizure either.
OUR U.S. Government has taken it upon themselves to seize your hard earned assets regardless. The Greater Cincinnati Airport (CVG) is notorious for taking money from travelers or reporting it to the next stop where travelers may be stopped and money seized. (i.e. LAX, ORD, DFW, etc)
It then is up to you to prove that the cash was earned and it is yours. This can often be done with bank records, sales receipts or other documents. I have traditionally charged a retainer of $3,000 plus 25% of the money recovered. Recently, I have added an associate to my firm and have the ability to handle these types of case with varying legal fees.
Fees may be as little as $500 down, but may involve a larger contingency or may include higher retainer with less contingency. If your cash was seized, you will receive a letter from the United States Department of Justice, generally 30 days or so after the seizure. It outlines your rights.
If you have had money or cash seized at the airport, you are entitled to representation to attempt to recover that money. Hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. Call the Bouldin Law Firm and speak to Mike or Kris Nevels at 859-581-6453 or email email@example.com.
You do not have to respond, however the government will keep your money if you do not file Petition/Appeal of the ruling. If your money is seized by TSA or any other agency, you will (should) receive a letter from US Department of Justice in approximately 30 days outlining the amount seized as well as your rights to petition/appeal. Following is a sample letter from DOJ (redacted):
As stated in the letter, you have only 30 days to send letter of petition and timing is crucial. If you want to try to get your money back, you MUST FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE. If the 30 days is insufficient and you need more time to hire an attorney or to gather evidence, you must still send in a letter of appeal, tell them that you need additional time to gather information/evidence and retain counsel.
You are permitted to travel with over $10,000; that is not illegal. If traveling out of the country, you must declare the amount of cash. When they seize money, the government presumes that it was obtained illegally. To get it back, you must prove only that it was legally acquired which is generally done by gathering document gathering. Common documents are payment records, deposits and withdraws, sale of assets (house, boat, vehicles).
If there were no drugs or other illegal contraband was found while you were traveling then the federal agency does not typically conduct further investigation. If they had found drugs or contraband, you would likely be facing federal felony charges and the seizure would be included in an indictment. If no charges were made, no charges or other inquiry will typically arise simply because you choose to forfeit your money.
Contact me directly if you have further questions or to inquire about representation. Call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at