31 U.S. Code § 5332 - Bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States
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(a) Criminal Offense.—
(1) In general.— Whoever, with the intent to evade a currency reporting requirement under section 5316, knowingly conceals more than $10,000 in currency or other monetary instruments on the person of such individual or in any conveyance, article of luggage, merchandise, or other container, and transports or transfers or attempts to transport or transfer such currency or monetary instruments from a place within the United States to a place outside of the United States, or from a place outside the United States to a place within the United States, shall be guilty of a currency smuggling offense and subject to punishment pursuant to subsection (b).
(1) Term of imprisonment.— A person convicted of a currency smuggling offense under subsection (a), or a conspiracy to commit such offense, shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years.
(2) Forfeiture.— In addition, the court, in imposing sentence under paragraph (1), shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States, any property, real or personal, involved in the offense, and any property traceable to such property.
(3) Procedure.— The seizure, restraint, and forfeiture of property under this section shall be governed by section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act.
(4) Personal money judgment.— If the property subject to forfeiture under paragraph (2) is unavailable, and the defendant has insufficient substitute property that may be forfeited pursuant to section 413(p) of the Controlled Substances Act, the court shall enter a personal money judgment against the defendant for the amount that would be subject to forfeiture.
(c) Civil Forfeiture.—
(1) In general.— Any property involved in a violation of subsection (a), or a conspiracy to commit such violation, and any property traceable to such violation or conspiracy, may be seized and forfeited to the United States.
(2) Procedure.— The seizure and forfeiture shall be governed by the procedures governing civil forfeitures in money laundering cases pursuant to section 981 (a)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code.
(3) Treatment of certain property as involved in the offense.— For purposes of this subsection and subsection (b), any currency or other monetary instrument that is concealed or intended to be concealed in violation of subsection (a) or a conspiracy to commit such violation, any article, container, or conveyance used, or intended to be used, to conceal or transport the currency or other monetary instrument, and any other property used, or intended to be used, to facilitate the offense, shall be considered property involved in the offense.
Source(Added Pub. L. 107–56, title III, § 371(c),Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 337; amended Pub. L. 108–458, title VI, § 6203(h),Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3747.)
References in Text
Section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), (4), is classified to section 853 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.
Another section 371(c) ofPub. L. 107–56amended the table of sections at the beginning of this chapter.
2004—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 108–458, § 6203(h)(1), struck out “, subject to subsection (d) of this section” before period at end.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108–458, § 6203(h)(2), struck out “, subject to subsection (d) of this section,” after “may be seized and”.
Effective Date of 2004 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 108–458effective as if included in Pub. L. 107–56, as of the date of enactment of such Act, and no amendment made by Pub. L. 107–56that is inconsistent with such amendment to be deemed to have taken effect, see section 6205 ofPub. L. 108–458, set out as a note under section 1828 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.
Bulk Cash Smuggling Into or Out of the United States
“(a) Findings.—The Congress finds the following:
“(1) Effective enforcement of the currency reporting requirements of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, and the regulations prescribed under such subchapter, has forced drug dealers and other criminals engaged in cash-based businesses to avoid using traditional financial institutions.
“(2) In their effort to avoid using traditional financial institutions, drug dealers and other criminals are forced to move large quantities of currency in bulk form to and through the airports, border crossings, and other ports of entry where the currency can be smuggled out of the United States and placed in a foreign financial institution or sold on the black market.
“(3) The transportation and smuggling of cash in bulk form may now be the most common form of money laundering, and the movement of large sums of cash is one of the most reliable warning signs of drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and similar crimes.
“(4) The intentional transportation into or out of the United States of large amounts of currency or monetary instruments, in a manner designed to circumvent the mandatory reporting provisions of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code,, [sic] is the equivalent of, and creates the same harm as, the smuggling of goods.
“(5) The arrest and prosecution of bulk cash smugglers are important parts of law enforcement’s effort to stop the laundering of criminal proceeds, but the couriers who attempt to smuggle the cash out of the United States are typically low-level employees of large criminal organizations, and thus are easily replaced. Accordingly, only the confiscation of the smuggled bulk cash can effectively break the cycle of criminal activity of which the laundering of the bulk cash is a critical part.
“(6) The current penalties for violations of the currency reporting requirements are insufficient to provide a deterrent to the laundering of criminal proceeds. In particular, in cases where the only criminal violation under current law is a reporting offense, the law does not adequately provide for the confiscation of smuggled currency. In contrast, if the smuggling of bulk cash were itself an offense, the cash could be confiscated as the corpus delicti of the smuggling offense.
“(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this section [enacting this section] are—
“(1) to make the act of smuggling bulk cash itself a criminal offense;
“(2) to authorize forfeiture of any cash or instruments of the smuggling offense; and
“(3) to emphasize the seriousness of the act of bulk cash smuggling.”