PHILADEPHIA—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Philadelphia International Airport assessed a $1,000 penalty to an Italian citizen Tuesday for violating federal currency reporting requirements.
During a secondary inspection, the man, who arrived from Italy, reported possessing $11,700. It was later discovered that the man had given money to two co-travelers in order to evade currency reporting requirements, an illegal practice known as currency structuring. In total the cash added up to $24,644. CBP officers seized the money, issued the man a $1,000 penalty, and then returned the remaining cash back to the man.
The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler's name as he was not criminally charged.
"Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report their currency, but those who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements face severe consequences, such as hefty penalties, having their currency seized, or potential criminal charges," said Allan Martocci, port director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. "The easiest way to keep your currency is to truthfully report it."
International travelers who arrive or depart the United States in possession of more than $10,000 or equivalent foreign currency are required to report all currency to CBP officers and complete a Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) form.
In addition to financial enforcement, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP's Travel website to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.