19 U.S. Code § 1619 - Award of compensation to informers
The amount awarded and paid to any person under this section may not exceed $250,000 for any case.
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.
For purposes of this section, an amount recovered under a bail bond shall be deemed a recovery of a fine incurred.
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 That section was superseded by section 619 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.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 All of these sections were repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 643, 42 Stat. 989.
Section 2 of the act of June 22, 1874, ch. 391, repealed all provisions under which moieties of fines, etc., were paid to informers, etc., and required the proceeds of all fines, penalties, and forfeitures to be paid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 This last provision was omitted from the Code as superseded by section 527 of this title (act Mar. 4, 1907, ch. 2918, § 1, 34 Stat. 1315).
Section 26 of that Act repealed inconsistent laws and saved existing rights.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for payment of moieties of fines, etc., to informers or officers, by the act of June 2, 1874, ch. 391, § 2, and was repealed by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 642, 42 Stat. 989.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.
1986—Pub. L. 99–570 amended 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.”
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.