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Cash Seizure Lawyers

If you have been charged with a crime, like a drug related crime, or other forms of fraud, it’s possible for the government to take your home, your vehicles, cash, or other money, before convicting you of a crime. Even if you have not been charged with a crime, or involved in any criminal activity, you may face having your assets forfeited.

If the police believe the property was used, or is directly tied to, a crime that was committed, they can seize the property in question. This can be catastrophic for innocent families. Regardless of the exact situation, it helps to hire a cash seizure lawyer who can help you. Todd Spodek is an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer, and is capable of helping you fight for your assets and money.

Seized Cash

Cash which is suspected to be obtained through criminal activities is the target of asset forfeitures, and can be seized prior to, or after, an indictment. In fact, while cash found at the scene of the crime can be seized prior to the criminal charges being filed, asset forfeiture proceedings can be initiated to try to get money after a conviction has been handed down.

Sometimes, these cases can be further complicated when the authorities are trying to get cash from someone who isn’t even tied to the crime, like a spouse or family member. Regardless of when the authorities finally seize your cash as a part of a criminal or administrative proceeding, the facts below remain the same:

  • You have to move quickly in order to defend your right to the funds.
  • You should consider hiring an experienced federal defense attorney who can quickly work on your behalf to get the funds released.

Rules For Seized Cash in Asset Forfeiture Cases

There are rules on how the cash which is seized in forfeiture cases should be treated and handled. This is outlined in the U.S. Attorney Manual, 9-111.600. According to the rules of this manual, the cash must be:

  • Photographed, so that the photos can be used as evidence
  • Deposited into the Seized Asset Deposit Fund, where it remains pending official forfeiture. Within 60 days of the seizure, or 10 days of an indictment, the cash which is seized will be transferred to the U.S. Marshalls.

The laws that apply to seized cash is very complicated. There are many other factors which can impact how the cash is going to be handled, as well as what needs to be done in order to challenge the asset forfeiture related to the cash. This could depend on things like

  • The amount of cash
  • Whether there is physical evidence associated with the seized funds
  • Whether the cash seizure came from criminal ,or administrative, proceedings

Bottom line, if the authorities have seized cash from you – or you’ve received a notice that your cash will be seized soon, you should speak to the Spodek Law Group as soon as possible. We are ready to defend you, and build a strong case. We will stand up for your rights at every single step.

Cash Seizures and Asset Forfeiture Law

Another situation where you may find your cash taken away from you is if you’re traveling into, or out of the US, with money above the legal limit. It’s possible this money will be taken from you by the US Customs and Border Patrol. Every year, millions of dollars are seized by Customs officials at airports all around the USA. The law which allows them to do this is called the Bank Secrecy Act, which allows local enforcement officials to seize cash which is about the legal limit which travelers fail to disclose. As a result of this law, you money can be seized. Many people don’t know the laws, their obligations, or rights, in regards to this when traveling.

Many people simply don’t know they are required to disclose the cash they carry. In addition, many people don’t have any idea that they can fight to get the money back, and as a result forfeit millions to the DEA and customs every year.

Cash Seizures Under The Bank Secrecy Act

This law was made to pursue instances of money being brought into the USA for illegal purposes. This includes things like tax evasion, purchase of illegal substances, sale of illegal substances, or money put to other illegal uses. To prevent the money from being used as such, the Act requires every person traveling into or out of the US to make a disclosure whenever they are traveling with more than $10,000 in cash. This law doesn’t refer to cash alone. It also includes things like traveler’s checks, checks, promissory notes, money orders, securities like stocks, or incomplete instruments that are signed – but do not carry the name of the payee.

You are obligated to fill out and submit a form called the FinCen form. The information you provide on the form has to indicate exactly how much money you’re carrying. Ideally, you should make the disclosure ASAP to Customs.

When Can Your Cash Be Seized?

If you fail to comply with the provisions of the law. The cash you’re carrying can be seized by the US Customs, or any other law enforcement agency at airports.

Failure to report: This is a case where you fail to fill and submit the form required. If filled it but failed to submit the form, you are still regarded as having to fail to report. It doesn’t matter that your failure was unintentional.

Cash on more than one person: When you are traveling with others as a group, you are required to report the cash on you AS A GROUP traveling together. The fact that none of you has up to $10,000 in cash doesn’t matter, if the total amount is more than $10,000. This means if you’re carrying $10,000 and someone else is carrying $3,000, then you are required to report it.

Misreporting: Reporting a wrong, or very different amount from what you are actually carrying could result in seizure. You have to report the cash 100% correctly.

What Happens After Your Money Is Seized

After your money is seized, the U.S. Customs is required to issue you a receipt for it. This is called a “Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence.” If the agent fails to provide this receipt, you have to make sure to request it at the time of the seizure. Failing to get a receipt means the government didn’t FORMALLY seize any money from you. If you leave without getting the receipt, your money will go into the personal pocket of the Customs officer that made the seizure. You have no hope of recovery. After issuing the receipt, the amount will be deposited into the U.S. Treasury which will hold the cash until the process is over. It’s important to keep in mind, that in addition to issuing a receipt, the government has to send you a notice within 60 days of the seizure being done. This will inform you of the legal implications of the seizure, and the procedure you can take to finally recover the funds. This is called due process. If the government fails to issue you a notice, they have to return the money. If they fail to do so,  our attorneys can help you.


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Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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