19 U.S. Code § 1619 - Award of compensation to informers

(a) In general
If—
(1) any person who is not an employee or officer of the United States—
(A) detects and seizes any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage subject to seizure and forfeiture under the customs laws or the navigation laws and reports such detection and seizure to a customs officer, or
(B) furnishes to a United States attorney, the Secretary of the Treasury, or any customs officer original information concerning—
(i) any fraud upon the customs revenue, or
(ii) any violation of the customs laws or the navigation laws which is being, or has been, perpetrated or contemplated by any other person; and
(2) such detection and seizure or such information leads to a recovery of—
(A) any duties withheld, or
(B) any fine, penalty, or forfeiture of property incurred;
the Secretary may award and pay such person an amount that does not exceed 25 percent of the net amount so recovered.
(b) Forfeited property not sold
If—
(1) any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is forfeited to the United States and is thereafter, in lieu of sale—
(A) destroyed under the customs or navigation laws, or
(B) delivered to any governmental agency for official use, and
(2) any person would be eligible to receive an award under subsection (a) of this section but for the lack of sale of such forfeited property,
the Secretary may award and pay such person an amount that does not exceed 25 percent of the appraised value of such forfeited property.
(c) Dollar limitation
The amount awarded and paid to any person under this section may not exceed $250,000 for any case.
(d) Source of payment
Unless otherwise provided by law, any amount paid under this section shall be paid out of appropriations available for the collection of the customs revenue.
(e) Recovery of bail bond
For purposes of this section, an amount recovered under a bail bond shall be deemed a recovery of a fine incurred.

Source

(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 619,46 Stat. 758; Aug. 5, 1935, ch. 438, title III, § 305,49 Stat. 527; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §§ 319, 321,Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2056; Pub. L. 98–573, title II, § 213(a)(15),Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2988; Pub. L. 99–570, title III, § 3125,Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–88.)
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 619,42 Stat. 988. That section was superseded by section 619 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
Provisions somewhat similar to those in this section, but applicable in part to any officer of the customs or other person, were contained in act June 22, 1874, ch. 391, § 4,18 Stat. 186. Section 3 of the 1874 act required the Secretary of the Treasury to make suitable compensation in certain cases, as thereinafter provided, made an appropriation and required payments to be reported to Congress. Section 6 required claims to compensation to be established to the satisfaction of the court or judge, and required satisfactory proof when the fine, etc., was collected without judicial proceedings. All of these sections were repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 643,42 Stat. 989.
Section 2 of the act of June 22, 1874, ch. 391, repealed all provisions under which moieties of fines, etc., were paid to informers, etc., and required the proceeds of all fines, penalties, and forfeitures to be paid into the Treasury. This last provision was omitted from the Code as superseded by section 527 of this title (act Mar. 4, 1907, ch. 2918, § 1,34 Stat. 1315).
Section 26 of that Act repealed inconsistent laws and saved existing rights. It was omitted from the Code as temporary and executed.
R.S. § 2948, providing that additional duties were not to be deemed fines, etc., for distribution to customs officers, became inoperative by the repeal of all provisions for payment of moieties of fines, etc., to informers or officers, by the act of June 2, 1874, ch. 391, § 2, and was repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 642,42 Stat. 989.
An appropriation for compensation in lieu of moieties was made by act Mar. 2, 1926, ch. 43, § 1,44 Stat. 141. Similar appropriations were contained in prior acts.
Amendments

1986—Pub. L. 99–570amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “Any person not an officer of the United States who detects and seizes any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage subject to seizure and forfeiture under the customs laws or the navigation laws, and who reports the same to an officer of the customs, or who furnishes to a United States attorney, to the Secretary of the Treasury, or to any customs officer original information concerning any fraud upon the customs revenue, or a violation of the customs laws or the navigation laws, perpetrated or contemplated, which detection and seizure or information leads to a recovery of any duties withheld, or of any fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred, may be awarded and paid by the Secretary of the Treasury a compensation of 25 per centum of the net amount recovered, but not to exceed $250,000 in any case, which shall be paid out of any appropriations available for the collection of the revenue from customs. For the purposes of this section an amount recovered under a bail bond shall be deemed a recovery of a fine incurred. If any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage is forfeited to the United States, and is thereafter, in lieu of sale, destroyed under the customs or navigation laws or delivered to any governmental agency for official use, compensation of 25 per centum of the appraised value thereof may be awarded and paid by the Secretary of the Treasury under the provisions of this section, but not to exceed $250,000 in any case. In no event shall the Secretary delegate the authority to pay an award under this section in excess of $10,000 to an official below the level of the Commissioner of Customs.”
1984—Pub. L. 98–573, § 213(a)(15)(A), andPub. L. 98–473, § 321, inserted reference to aircraft in two places.
Pub. L. 98–573, § 213(a)(15)(B), substituted “$250,000” for “$50,000” in two places.
Pub. L. 98–473, § 319(a), substituted “$150,000” for “$50,000”.
Pub. L. 98–473, § 319(b), inserted “In no event shall the Secretary delegate the authority to pay an award under this section in excess of $10,000 to an official below the level of the Commissioner of Customs.”
1935—Act Aug. 5, 1935, inserted “or the navigation laws” after “customs laws”, and provisions authorizing award of compensation of 25 per centum of the appraised value, but not to exceed $50,000 in any case.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–573effective Oct. 15, 1984, see section 214(e) ofPub. L. 98–573, set out as a note under section 1304 of this title.

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19 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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8 CFR - Aliens and Nationality

8 CFR Part 274 - SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE OF CONVEYANCES

19 CFR - Customs Duties

19 CFR Part 161 - GENERAL ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS

50 CFR - Wildlife and Fisheries

50 CFR Part 12 - SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE PROCEDURES

 

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