CBP Sued For Seizing $41,000 From Airline Passenger, Then Refusing To Give It Back Unless She Promised Not To Sue

from the Customs-and-Border-Pickpockets dept

Another case of asset forfeiture is the subject of a federal lawsuit. Like many others, the plaintiff has obtained the assistance of the Institute for Justice in battling the government for the return of seized assets. In this case, a US citizen saw $41,000 of hers disappear into the government's custody when she attempted to take it to her hometown in Nigeria to start a medical clinic.

After detaining her for hours at the airport, the CBP decided it could keep the money Anthonie Nwaorie lawfully earned.

CBP took the money because Nwaorie, a U.S. citizen since 1994 who lives in Katy, had not declared that she was taking more than $10,000 out of the country — a technical requirement that her lawyers say is not well-publicized or easy to comply with.

If this was the only problem, it was "solved" by Customs officials detaining Nwaorie long enough for her to miss her flight. No money left the country, undeclared or not. If this was criminal act in need of punishment, the CBP could have turned this over to prosecutors. But none of this happened. The CBP simply took the money and ghosted Nwaorie. From the lawsuit [PDF]:

After receiving a CAFRA [Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act] seizure notice from CBP in November 2017, Anthonia timely submitted a claim under CAFRA on December 12, 2017, requesting that CBP refer the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for court action, thus electing a judicial forfeiture proceeding rather than an administrative forfeiture proceeding. The USAO declined to pursue forfeiture of the seized cash and the government failed to timely file a forfeiture complaint within the 90-day period required under CAFRA. At this point, CAFRA automatically required that CBP “promptly release” the seized property.

The money was never released, despite the CBP's clear legal obligation. Instead, the agency attempted to force her into granting it a permanent pass from civil liability in exchange for her cash it had never bothered processing.

[R]ather than promptly releasing the seized cash to Anthonia as required under federal law, CBP instead sent Anthonia a letter dated April 4, 2018, conditioning the return of the seized cash on Anthonia signing a Hold Harmless Agreement that waives her constitutional and statutory rights, and requires her to accept new legal liabilities, such as indemnifying the government for any claims brought by others related to the seized property. The letter stated that if Anthonia did not sign the Hold Harmless Agreement within 30 days from the date of the letter, “administrative forfeiture proceedings will be initiated.” On the other hand, if she signed the Hold Harmless Agreement, the letter said she would be mailed a “refund check” for the full amount of the seized cash in 8 to 10 weeks.

This is the government holding someone else's money hostage -- nothing more. The CBP has a legal obligation to return property it isn't going to process through the courts. There's nothing in the law demanding citizens waive a bunch of their rights just to reclaim what the government has taken from them.

This will be a tough case for the government to defend. The CBP accused Nwaorie of breaking federal law, but never followed through on that claim. It kept her money but never bothered processing it as an administrative or judicial forfeiture. It apparently assumed she would never challenge the seizure. When she did, it told her it would keep the money unless she agreed in writing to never pursue the government for its bogus and badly-handled seizure.

As for the law the CBP claimed she had broken -- not declaring funds over $10,000 when leaving the country -- Nwaorie points out the government has done nothing to make travelers aware of this requirement. She states she's aware this is required when entering the country (declarations of cash, etc. being brought into the country) but had no idea the government demands the same declaration when exiting. As she points out in her lawsuit, multiple government travel tip website pages have nothing at all to say about cash reporting requirements.

Information about the currency reporting requirement for travelers departing the United States is not found in lists of tips for international travelers on government websites such as: CBP’s “U.S. Traveler’s Top Ten Travel Tips” webpage, https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/us-travelers-top-ten-travel-tips; the list of “Documents You Will Need” (or elsewhere) on CBP’s “Before Your Trip” webpage, https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/your-trip; the list of required documents on the State Department’s “Traveler’s Checklist” webpage: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelerschecklist.html; TSA’s “Top Travel Tips,” https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/; TSA’s “Travel Checklist,” https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/travel-checklist; or TSA’s “FAQ” for travelers, https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions.

On top of that, the reporting must be done at the time of the flight, but the office where the reporting is handled is not even located on the airport's property, much less in the terminal. And then there's the petty grubbiness of the CBP officers' actions -- like their decision to cut open her bag to access the cash, rather than use the key she provided them, and threatening to harass and detain her in the future any time she decides to board an international flight.

There's no questioning what the law says the government must do in cases like this. Her lawsuit quotes the relevant text from CAFRA:

Under CAFRA, if the government fails to file a complaint “before the time for filing a complaint has expired” (and does not obtain a criminal indictment containing an allegation that the property was subject to forfeiture), “the Government shall promptly release the property pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Attorney General and may not take any further action to effect the civil forfeiture of such property in connection with the underlying offense.”

Here, the CBP shrugged off its statutory obligations and compounded it by tying the money's return to a promise not to sue. That thuggish plan has backfired.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 2:53pm

    "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

    Here, the CBP shrugged off its statutory obligations and compounded it by tying the money's return to a promise not to sue. That thuggish plan has backfired.

    Hopefully anyway. While it would be nice if the judge involved hands out some actual punishments, seeing case after case where a slap on the wrist is handed out for actions that would get anyone else thrown in a cell simply because the accused has a badge has lowered my expectations just a tad, to the point that I would not be terribly surprised(disgusted yes, surprised no) if the judge sides with the CBP here and claims that everything they did was not only legal but perfectly acceptable.

    Mind, I'd love to be proven wrong. I don't expect to be, but it would be nice.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 4:02pm

      Re: "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

      Not only legal and perfectly acceptable, but it wouldn't surprise me if the judge rules that the failure to file the appropriate documents/follow procedure is also harmless and the government gets to keep the money.

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      • icon
        keithzg (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 5:09pm

        Re: Re: "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

        Sadly I entirely expect that to be the case.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 10:24pm

        "the government gets to keep the money."

        A profit motive would imply conflict of interest, warranting judicial disqualification.

        Of course this would apply to every judge on the bench.

        Maybe the profit motive breaks the legal system?

        It certainly broke the Church and the Inquisition. Multiple times.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 4:22am

          Re: "the government gets to keep the money."

          I guess they would simply claim it was fake conflict of interest.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 14 May 2018 @ 12:58am

            "Fake conflict of interest."

            Well, if an adjudicator is tempted by conflict of interest to exploit it for his own gain, and it's possible to declare it a fake conflict of interest or not a conflict of interest, then really it's a tiny additional step to do so to move into position to act.

            Is there a standard to determine if a conflict of interest tempts corruption too much? Or is it just a gentlemen's assessment?

            Because I don't trust lawyers or jurists to be gentlemen.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 15 May 2018 @ 9:00am

          Re: "the government gets to keep the money."

          The judge wouldn't benefit from the executive branch keeping the money.

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    • identicon
      David, 11 May 2018 @ 11:17pm

      Re: "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

      While it would be nice if the judge involved hands out some actual punishments, seeing case after case where a slap on the wrist is handed out for actions that would get anyone else thrown in a cell simply because the accused has a badge

      If only. A slap on the wrist hurts nominally. We are more talking about a waggling of a finger and a coy tut-tut here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 9:59am

      Re: "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

      IJ doesn't take cases they think they can't win.

      They're a non-profit advocacy group - they want to set precedents. They're not a for-profit lawyer that will take losing cases so long as they get paid.

      I expect IJ to win.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 1:37pm

        Re: Re: "They're government agents, of course they're always right."

        Oh I'm not questioning their motives so much as looking at past history of cases where government agents did something that would have gotten anyone else thrown in jail and were given a slap on the wrist at most, suspecting that something like that might happen here.

        Like I said though, I'd love to be proven wrong here.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 3:50pm

    Doesn't this also mean

    Nigeria is going without a medical clinic?

    That doesn't sound like a small thing if it means patients aren't getting treated and people are dying for want of resources.

    One could hope this would become an international incident.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 5:45pm

      Re: Doesn't this also mean

      The US government isn't inclined to give a shit what the rest of the world thinks when money is on the line.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 6:24am

        Re: Re: Doesn't this also mean

        Apparently, worship of money is not unique to any particular country, race, sex, but does tend to gravitate towards the right side of the political spectrum.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          David, 12 May 2018 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Doesn't this also mean

          Which is not much of a wonder since the "might makes right" philosophy is the far right, and particularly in the U.S. as the stronghold of capitalism, money is power.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2018 @ 4:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Doesn't this also mean

          Really? As if the left isn't also rife with wealth and corruption.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JohnG (profile), 15 May 2018 @ 5:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Doesn't this also mean

          Stop it... this isn't a right/left thing. Asset forfeiture is politically agnostic.

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    • identicon
      David, 12 May 2018 @ 12:21am

      Re: Doesn't this also mean

      That doesn't sound like a small thing if it means patients aren't getting treated and people are dying for want of resources.

      Not people. Nigerians. No Americans were harmed in that perversion of justice. Well, to be fair there was financial harm to the American whose money was confiscated. But then she was black and female (I assume). And naturalized. She should just generally be glad that she now is citizen of a country governed by law rather than corruption (like it was where she is coming from) and not get uppity.

      It's not like the CBP hasn't explicitly told her to keep her woolly head down and know her place and maybe they'll hand back her money. You know, the "your money is about to be released but you'll need to pay an administrative fee" thing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 4:08pm

    Let the lawsuits begin

    I wonder who signed that letter that CBP sent? Along with the agents who confiscated the money they could be up for some big time personal liability. There may be ways, other than the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Of course they might find that that works for them as well.

    And, as Uriel points out, those claims of damages might include those that never got treatment or for whom treatment was delayed in Nigeria. Get your popcorn ready, this could be a good one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Let the lawsuits begin

      Along with the agents who…

      …are not defendants in the lawsuit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 10:27pm

        "agents who are not defendants in THIS lawsuit."

        Fixed it for you.

        There may well be another one. Or seven.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 12:11am

          Re: "agents who are not defendants in THIS lawsuit."

                      There may well be another one.

           

          You will eat, bye and bye

          In that glorious land above the sky

          Work and pray, live on hay

          You’ll get pie in the sky when you die

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Captain Obvious, 11 May 2018 @ 4:17pm

    Actually, the guvmint DID promptly re-"lease" the money

    They've only been borrowing it since the incident at the airport, so now they're extending the borrowing by promptly RE-"leasing" it. They will probably want to RE-"lease" it for a good long time.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 4:36pm

    Those involved in this type of unlawful encounter with the CBP should consider banning together to bring a lawsuit against those illegally operating under color of law, as provided for under 42 USC 1983.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      discordian_eris (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 6:27pm

      Re:

      No. Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

      Use the criminal statute, not the civil one. Federal felony convictions will send a better signal by far than mere money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Brown (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 7:17pm

      Re:

      This happened at an airport, so it was inside that pesky "Constitution free zone"-- a 100 mile radius around any border or international airport.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 10:29pm

        Constitution free zone

        Maybe it's time to start challenging such zones. I'm pretty sure no judge has actually affirmed constitutional rights are suspended at the border.

        In fact, some judges have affirmed that non-citizens of the US (that is to say everyone) has constitutional rights.

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        • identicon
          Joe, 14 May 2018 @ 3:52am

          Re: Constitution free zone

          It's almost like they're inalienable or something, amirite?
          Also, those radical judges, ruling from the bench. Why, the nerve of them even thinking that the plain language should be the interpretation!

          (Sarcasm, obviously)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 5:15pm

    stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

    It's quite possible that this was not just a case of the border patrol randomly stopping someone for questioning -- or as the traveller suspects, because of her skin color.

    There are other possibilities for why she was singled out, such as possibly being already under suspicion/observation when her international flight ticket flagged her to authorities, who then waited for her to appear at the airport.

    Also ...

    • Bomb/Drug Sniffer Dogs - Not as well known by the public, but those police dogs roaming airports are also trained to find large amounts of money (presumably a brick of $100s smells different to a dog than a small purse filled w/ $20s?)

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11348609

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    • icon
      MDT (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 5:39pm

      Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

      It's not that the dogs are trained to find large bundles of cash.

      It's that large bundles of cash smell like drugs. Especially $100 bills.

      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/drug-money-2/

      Put 410 $100 bills in a bundle, and there's enough coke on it to make a dog alert, if it can actually smell drugs at all, and isn't just randomly alerting to get treats from it's handler.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

        The ink used in currency is much easier for the dogs to detect.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 10:35pm

          Detection dogs

          If dogs are trained to sniff for the ink.

          We allegedly train dogs for some common street drugs and some common explosive compounds.

          If an officer is claiming that the dog is detecting more than that, then the dog is signalling falsely and uncovering items at random.

          Seriously, detection dogs should have less than 5% false positive, or should be retired, and if the Department of Justice cannot maintain such a standard, detection dog programs should be terminated.

          To be fair, we actually have sniffer devices that can detect trace substances better than the dogs. I think the dogs are used for the false positives, to justify warrant-less searches.

          In that case, they cut out the middle man and use divining rods and their trained drug-whisperer officers who incriminate sober people.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 4:26am

          Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

          Why not use a metal detector?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

        This is why you should launder your money (in a washing machine) before you...launder your money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

          It's probably not a bad idea to run your bills through the washing machine with your other laundry, but **AVOID LAUNDRY STARCH LIKE THE PLAGUE if you don't want your money confiscated**

          Those so-called "counterfeit detecting" pens that so many gas stations and small shops swipe across large-denomination bills before accepting them are simple iodine marker pens, and anyone who remembers their middle school chemistry lab would know that iodine turns blue when it contacts starch. Starch is used as a binder in photocopier paper, which is presumably the method of choice for young, lazy, low-information counterfeiters.

          The problem is that the Secret Service tells merchants that they must confiscate any banknote they *suspect* might be a counterfeit -- and that includes the false-positives that laundry starch will certainly produce whenever iodine "detector" pens are used.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 5:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

            It's probably not a bad idea to run your bills through the washing machine with your other laundry, but AVOID LAUNDRY STARCH LIKE THE PLAGUE if you don't want your money confiscated

            No, I'm pretty sure that literally laundering your money is a terrible idea, and it absolutely baffles the mind that anyone would even suggest that, to the point that for sanity's sake I'm going to have to assume that you're being sarcastic.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2018 @ 8:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

              I've run dollar bills through the wash in pant and shirt pockets more times than I could possibly count, and compared to other common paper products, whether store receipts, tissues, or whatever else, money holds up unusually well. U.S currency really does come out clean and crisp, and even though their washing was always accidental, I would definitely consider giving banknotes a good bath and scrubbing if I was planning to carry large sums across the border or anything highly risky like that. Grungy old $1 and $5 bills do have a definite stale odor to them that's completely different to the inky smell of new bills, which laundering seems to lessen or eliminate (at least to a human's nose, maybe not to a dog). The move toward plastic banknotes makes sense, if even for sanitary and hygienic reasons alone.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 13 May 2018 @ 10:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

                Accidentally doing it for some bills forgotten if your pockets is one thing, intentionally running large amounts through the wash is quite another, and in fact if your concern is that it's 'risky' carrying large amounts of money around(a very realistic worry these days) then 'laundering' them I'd say stands to make them even more 'suspicious', and thereby more likely to be taken.

                Given it's fairly well known apparently that just about all paper money has at least a minor trace of drugs on them, 'they smelled like drugs to the dog' isn't likely to hold up in court. On the other hand, 'they're not new bills and yet they've been cleaned for some reason' might, depending on how recently the judge involved took a blow to the head, such that getting your money squeaky clean could very well be used against you.

                Though to be sure, 'suspect had lots of money, I want lots of money' seems to be all the grounds some of these thugs-with-badges need to rob someone blind, so dirty or clean you're still in trouble if carrying money they want, but 'suspiciously clean bills' might make getting your money back more difficult.

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              • identicon
                David, 13 May 2018 @ 10:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

                > The move toward plastic banknotes makes sense, if even for sanitary and hygienic reasons alone.

                As opposed to paper? They tested a similar theory: they wanted to know how much less hygienic wooden cutting boards for the kitched were compared to plastic (melanine?) ones.

                Turns out that a few billion years of stationary trees having to fend off bacteria and fungus attacks have some evolutionary effects. The wooden boards were actually sporting fewer bacteria than the plastic ones.

                So I am less than convinced that plastic money will be more sanitary than paper money.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 13 May 2018 @ 1:35pm

                  Cutting boards

                  Wooden cutting boards are porous, which means that dirt can escape scrubbing, but the tanin is antimicrobial. Really it's a matter of what wood is used. Hardwoods with small pours are recommended.

                  Highly recommended: Teak, which has tectoquinones which are also good against fungi. Less good: Bamboo, which is not as resistant to microbes, and is typically shellacked.

                  Plastic has no natural antimicrobial features. It's just tough and can be made non-pourous, so it can be cleaned with more abrasive cleansers and harder scrubbing.

                  More recently, we've been looking at silicone, which also has antibacterial properties.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2018 @ 11:41pm

                    Re: Cutting boards

                    We need to eliminate cash altogether and make it so criminals cannot hide in the darkness. We are still very primitive in many ways and this is one of them.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 14 May 2018 @ 12:54am

                      Cash

                      To the contrary we need to create numerous means for individuals to pay other individuals anonymously, including electronic and long distance. The nations have proven they cannot be trusted either to write fair law, nor to enforce law equally.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 15 May 2018 @ 9:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stopped for Traveling While Black? maybe not.

                I've run dollar bills through the wash in pant and shirt pockets more times than I could possibly count, and compared to other common paper products, whether store receipts, tissues, or whatever else, money holds up unusually well.

                That's because it's not actually paper, it's cloth. Largely linen.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 6:18pm

    Its sad just how awful the CBP has started to function. Those at the top must be massive failures at this point. I usually support law enforcement, but the CBP seems to hire any thug they can find.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 May 2018 @ 10:38pm

      The CBP is one of Trump's loyalist factions

      They no longer serve the DoJ but serve President Trump directly, and for that they can get away with whatever they want.

      Trump really wants to be führer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 4:27am

        Re: The CBP is one of Trump's loyalist factions

        Trump has a secret army?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 13 May 2018 @ 1:42pm

          Secret armies

          Curious. I thought I posted a response to this. An additional response may appear at some point.

          Trump wants a secret army, or at least a secret police force. He's petitioned the administrations of many law enforcement departments for loyalty and in exchange, a lot of latitude. CBP and ICE agreed, as did the Sheriff's Department who specifically wanted to continue asset forfeiture and wanted recent Obama-era regulations on forfeiture lifted again.

          The FBI, as is well known, did not comply, and that story has been central in our news feeds. The intelligence departments have also been non-compliant, and hence have retained an antagonistic relationship with the White House.

          It very much smacks of the Either you're for us or against us rhetoric of the Iraq war, except instead of talking about allied nations, we're talking about government agencies.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 15 May 2018 @ 9:31am

            Re: Secret armies

            as did the Sheriff's Department who specifically wanted to continue asset forfeiture and wanted recent Obama-era regulations on forfeiture lifted again.

            There is no national Sheriff's Department in the US. Sheriffs are county officials. Perhaps you're thinking of the Marshal's Service?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 15 May 2018 @ 2:25pm

              The Secret National Sheriff's Department

              No, I misspoke. Within days after Trump's innauguration he had a meeting with the National Association of Sheriffs, who emphasized to him the importance of unrestrained asset forfeiture was to doing their jobs and catching bad-guys. Also that recent Obama-era reforms to limit asset forfeitures and department profits from them were letting criminals escape justice. Around the same time, the DoJ removed the new restrictions.

              I don't remember Trump having any direct contact with the US Marshals Service.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 11 May 2018 @ 11:30pm

      Re:

      I think you are utterly mistaken here. The CBP does not depend on hiring thugs: that's what corrupted local offices may do trying to fly under the radar. The Nazis did not hire thugs for running concentration camps. They hired loyal citizens. Exactly because those at the top are not as much massive failures as they are serving their own agenda and believing in it.

      Sometimes an organization is just not fixable. There's a point where you can do little but dismantle, prosecute, raze it to the ground and start from scratch with more safeguards.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2018 @ 8:28pm

    It is our money, we printed it. End of discussion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 3:02am

    Police state

    And the cops dont even know the rules..
    EVEn when the judge TELLS THEM..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 12 May 2018 @ 6:16am

      Re: Police state

      Judges are for telling citizens the rules. There are no rules for cops since they deal with criminals and would be unfairly disadvantaged if the criminals were allowed to break the rules and the cops not.

      If that sounds reasonable to you, there might be a job for you in the Trump administration.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2018 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re: Police state

        Immunity, qualified or not, is not reasonable.

        The end never justifies the means.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          David, 12 May 2018 @ 6:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Police state

          Do you want the criminals to win?

          The only way to be sure at least some criminals lose is to have criminals on both sides, so justice is served either way once the government is criminal.

          Or do you have a better rationale for the U.S. Law Enforcement behavior?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Police state

      I just figured that After the Judge TOLD THEM, they would do Something proper..
      NOPE.

      ACTING, as the person would SUE THEM is scaring the SPIT out of them..
      Give the money back AND A NEW TICKET TO ANYWHERE

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 12 May 2018 @ 8:32am

    I wonder if she can get a restraining order against the CPB and not have to go through their gauntlet anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2018 @ 11:35pm

    How could $41,000 on its way to Nigeria be at all suspicious?

    Did some civil servant fearing for his life and fleeing his jurisdiction e-mail you instructions on how to retrieve it once it is unfrozen?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2018 @ 4:18am

    Should've hid the money better.

    A better idea than bringing cash would have been to use the cash to purchase appraised, insured jewelry, then just wear it on the plane. Sell it when you land to convert it back into money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 14 May 2018 @ 7:42am

    Maybe a stupid question but...

    Where do you declare items like $42,000 when leaving? Unlike the 3rd world AFAIK here are no departure customs in the USA that I remember. I assume when you walk onto a jet to Nigeria you neer see CBP?

    (I did in fact find it weird the last international flight when I went to Turkey that there were CBP at the gate checking passports of people boarding the plane. Fortunately they only checked the brown people.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 May 2018 @ 8:14am

    CBP took the money because Nwaorie, a U.S. citizen since 1994 who lives in Katy, had not declared that she was taking more than $10,000 out of the country — a technical requirement that her lawyers say is not well-publicized or easy to comply with.

    Huh? This is an exceptionally clear requirement that's stated quite plainly on the relevant forms. Anyone who's traveled internationally should be familiar with it, because it's stated right there on the customs form in very clear language. Not sure what this lawyer is smoking...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2018 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      Anyone who's traveled internationally should be familiar with it, because it's stated right there on the customs form in very clear language.

      You mean the form you fill out when entering the US? Because I have never been asked to fill out a US Customs form when I LEAVE the US.

      Not sure what this lawyer is smoking...

      Not sure what you're smoking.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Improbus (profile), 14 May 2018 @ 10:52am

    If you are going to move large sums of money

    If you are going to move large sums of money overseas, please use crypto-currencies so these CBP assholes can pound sand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2018 @ 12:03pm

    Probably didn't help that the CBP staffers near the airport had already spent the money on drugs and alcohol and paying their own personal credit card debts.

    Then they panicked and had to stump up 10K.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 29 May 2018 @ 7:49pm

    Update: US returns money, Nwaorie is suing.

    The CBP returned the $41000 to Nwaorie, and she is continuing her lawsuit in an effort to discourage the state from continuing its practice of excessive asset forfeiture.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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