Rel8te
Rel8te
Joined: Aug 8, 2016
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August 8th, 2016 at 4:13:42 PM permalink
Hello Community,

My question is simple and deals with Civil Asset Forfeiture. As I currently understand, law enforcement is allowed to confiscate funds if they believe it is linked to criminal activity, the issue is that this is hearsay and up to interpretation. My question to the AP's is how does one travel (via airplane) with large sums of cash, without the risk of confiscation? In the past, one could place their cash on their person and walk through the metal detectors, now with the advent of Full-Body Scanners at virtually all airports and the requirements to remove everything from your person, how is it feasible to carry and travel with large amounts of cash?

Personally, I am someone who would like to travel to Vegas in the near future with amounts between $2,000 - $5,000 in cash. I currently have never filed a CTR as my winnings have never warranted one. So how does one with no record of cash transactions prove to the authorities that the money was not obtained illegally? What are your protocols with respect to traveling with cash?

I would like to hear anecdotal evidence of people who have been in this situation rather than speculation on what should/could happen.

Any insight at all would be wildly appreciated. Thank you.
RS
RS
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August 8th, 2016 at 4:57:48 PM permalink
If it's for a relatively small amount like 2-5k, you should be fine. I've gone through just holding the money in my hand (10 or 15 k) with no issues. They just wanted to thumb through the money to make sure there weren't any bombs or knives or whatever else people hide in money now a days. I've also traveled with a bit more, just put it in my bag and didn't put in stuff that'd trigger a search (i.e. Food liquids razors bombs etc.).

Leaving Vegas, I've had the TSA guy say "Wow, you must'a gotten lucky here!" Even though I live in LV. And heading towards LV the TSA guy said something like "Damn you're gonna go hard aren't you?" And that was that.

You can transfer money via the bank. Or wire money to a casino or set up a credit line. Or get a security box at a bank in Vegas and leave the cash there, assuming it's money you can leave in LV until you return.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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August 8th, 2016 at 5:16:45 PM permalink
Quote: Rel8te



I would like to hear anecdotal evidence of people who have been in this situation rather than speculation on what should/could happen.

Any insight at all would be wildly appreciated. Thank you.



I haven't traveled with a large amount, but I would say don't take more than you can afford for the TSA to steal from you. More than one person has had cash confiscated because it "might be used for an illicit purpose."
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
billryan
billryan
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August 8th, 2016 at 6:13:47 PM permalink
TSA is not a law enforcement agency. They can only seize items that are prohibited on planes. Cash is not in their baliwick..
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
ahiromu
ahiromu
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August 8th, 2016 at 6:59:30 PM permalink
I have flown to Vegas many times with more than 5 grand in cash. These days I'm using a LoC, but I get the cash thing.

As long as you don't give them a reason to hand check your bag, your chances of being randomly selected for additionally screening are next to none. I have flown 30-40 round trips over the past 3 years and have never been randomly selected domestically; my one selection was because I forgot a water bottle.

You are not breaking the law and don't have to explain a thing (plane ticket to Vegas is enough of an excuse to convince most TSA agents). TSA agents are not police, most don't give a crap, they just want to clock out. Don't have any drugs on you, don't be a dick, and everything should be fine.
Last edited by: ahiromu on Aug 8, 2016
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SiegfriedRoy
SiegfriedRoy
Joined: Sep 23, 2014
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August 8th, 2016 at 7:25:31 PM permalink
I've carried more than $10K in person through the X-ray machine at the airport. I took the money out of my bag and held it on top of my head while the x-ray scanner went thorough. No questions asked. I was also prepared to say that "I was going to Vegas" if they wanted a reason, but it never got to it.
DRich
DRich
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August 8th, 2016 at 8:48:47 PM permalink
I was recently traveling with a friend and we had large sums of cash in our carry on bags. My bag goes through without a problem and my friend's bag which was right behind mine alerted the TSA, Both he and I just looked at each other in disbelief as they called for someone to hand check the bag. Unbeknownst to me he had a big ziplock bag full of coins in his carry on and the TSA grabbed it, looked at and and said to take it out next time. They never looked between the layer of clothes and didn't see all of the cash in the bag. We were very fortunate.
Order from chaos
billryan
billryan
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August 8th, 2016 at 10:06:25 PM permalink
Not really. There is nothing they can do. Worse possibility is they call a real cop who asks whats going on.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
iamnomad
iamnomad
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August 8th, 2016 at 10:56:56 PM permalink
I've flown from Columbus OH to Vegas on a number of occasions with roughly $2K on my person or in my bag. Never even a raised eyebrow from TSA...
DrawingDead
DrawingDead
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August 9th, 2016 at 1:01:29 AM permalink
About 10 months ago while travelling I was the subject of what was obviously a fishing expedition for potential asset seizures (without real consequence for me as I wasn't also moving my money that way - and I forgot to pack my grenade launcher for going through Oklahoma). Since then over the last year I've become aware (more directly than through public news reports) of a number of other local seizures of assets that were apparently without evidence of anything illegal other than making some assumptions about someone having cash. But all the cases I've become acquainted with, including my own little incident with a County Sheriff's deputy on a rural stretch of an interstate highway, involved local law enforcement when travelling by car. And I get the fact that TSA "agents" are basically glorified mall cops, if that. But with that said, I'm personally not feeling quite as confident as others about the airport question.

I've wondered if something similar could happen when taking a flight & whatnot, and since I've actually been standing by the side of the road staring at cows with my thumb up my assets fairly recently while Barney Fife was meticulously going through my bags looking for moolah, this question is more than a little bit interesting to me. Here's some of what I just turned up in a quick Google of news accounts (with colored & bolded emphasis & comment added by me):

Washington Post (6/30/15): Drug cops took a college kidís savings and now 13 police departments want a cut

Quote:

In February 2014, Drug Enforcement Administration task force officers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport seized $11,000 in cash from 24-year-old college student Charles Clarke. They didn't find any guns, drugs or contraband on him. But, according to an affidavit filled out by one of the agents, the task force officers reasoned that the cash was...

...<SNIP>...

...Two local agencies were involved in the seizure of Clarke's cash: the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport Police, and the Covington Police Department, which is the home office of the DEA task force officer who detained and spoke with Clarke....


Washington Post (6/30/15): Why the TSA posted a photo of a passengerís cash-filled luggage on Twitter

Quote:

...Asked about the incident via e-mail, Farbstein said that "the carry-on bag of the passenger alarmed because of the large unknown bulk in his carry-on bag. When TSA officers opened the bag to determine what had caused the alarm, the money was sitting inside. Quite unusual. TSA alerted the airport police, who were investigating."...

...<SNIP>...

..."The TSA officer may consider all circumstances in making the assessment, including the [subjective opinion of] behavior and credibility of the passenger. Thus, a failure to be forthcoming may inform a TSA officerís decision to call law-enforcement authorities."

In this case, the cash was seized by a federal agency, most likely the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to Richmond airport spokesman Troy Bell. "I don't believe the person was issued a summons or a citation," he said. "The traveler was allowed to continue on his way."... [without his money]



WTKR @Virginia local TV (7.1.15): TSA seizes $75,000 in cash from Richmond passenger Ė and he may not get it back

Quote:

The man who was carrying $75,000 in cash was stopped at a checkpoint because of his bulky bag, according to WTVR...



And I'm not so sure if it always takes lotsa bricks of 'big-baller-bux' to trigger a problem:

By the Institute for Justice (advocacy group - 1/21/16): DEA Offered Reward to a TSA Screener to Help Them Seize Cash from Luggage

Quote:

During that period, half of all DEA cash seizures were under $10,000, according to a later analysis by the Institute for Justice.



These are just from what I get off skimming the first page of a quick web search of some relevant press articles, and I have no other information on these quoted incidents beyond what I see in the published reporting. Unfortunately, even with the 'benefit' of my own experience last year and some personal accounts (described to me privately) from some others since then, I also have nothing to offer that I could feel really confident about telling someone else they should to do to avoid this.
Last edited by: DrawingDead on Aug 9, 2016
"I'm against stuff like crack and math" --AxelWolf

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