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Is it a crime to have $1,500 in cash on your person?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by hso, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    This is certainly a tin-foil-hat question, but have any of you heard of a recent fed law that makes it a crime to carry $1,500 or more in cash on your person? Since I know folks that carry more than this with them to shows it would make buying knives and guns interesting.

    On a similar wavelength, is there a fed law that makes it a crime to carry $10,000 or more in cash on your person?
  2. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Senior Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    IDPA junkie in DFW, TX
    I haven't heard of it but I'd like to read it. Do you have a link?
  3. cobb

    cobb Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    S. MN.
    BULLSH :eek: T
  4. hkOrion

    hkOrion New Member

    May 12, 2004
    5,008 ft high in the Rockies
    there is some federal law against carrying more than 10k in cash when crossing international borders. something to try to stop people from moving large amounts of cash in an undocumented manner.
  5. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    You can't travel on an airliner with more than 10K unless you declare it. If you declare it the money might be arrested unless you can prove where it came from. Bank reciept etc...

    A police officer can take money from you as evidence of a crime without arresting you, the lab WILL find cocaine on some of it and it will be confiscated.

    I often carry large sums of money for gun shopping and vacationing but always in a bank money envelope with the bank receipt inside showing the amount withdrawn and the balance.
  6. RevDisk

    RevDisk Participating Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    The $10k limit is for international travel. If you deposit/withdraw $10k or more, banks must report it. Neither is technically illegal. If you declare the cash, technically it's ok. Same with depositing $10,001.

    If the feds come knocking, you better be able to prove you made it legally.

    Now, is a wise idea to carry so much cash? I doubt it. I'm not as much worried about being mugged, as I am LEO folks getting suspicious. If you're legal, you probably won't get in any trouble. The worst case is that you lose the cash. In my opinion, it's not worth the hassle.

    Just make two $5,000 deposits on two seperate bank accounts. ;)

    Edit : Now that I think about it, if I had the cash, I'd make a bunch of $10k deposits. If anyone asks questions, have my paperwork handy. Then I'd do it over again, just to make 'em fill out more paperwork.
  7. Werewolf

    Werewolf Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    America! Land of the Free!

    Riiiiiiiiiiiight... :banghead:
  8. kikilee

    kikilee Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    REVDISK got it right. The rest is BS. There is no federal law against carrying more than $1500.00 in cash.
  9. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    There are a few places with laws on the books that say you can be arrested for vagrancy if are not carrying at least $15 on your person.

    I'm thinking this about 10 years ago in ether Corpus Christi or South Padre Island.
  10. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

    Oct 30, 2003
    You have to declare more than 10k on international flights only. I have never heard of anyone getting arrested solely for carrying that kind of money. Where they were arrested there was a whole lot more going on, like drug dealing.
    If you own a retail business and deposit more than a certain amount in $100 bills you have to declare that too. Friends of mine run a store selling "urban" clothing and a lot of their receipts come in $100 bills. They declare it on the deposit slip and they're done. Been doing it for years and never had an issue.
  11. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Participating Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    You also can't own more than 1500 bucks worth of tinfoil! :neener:
  12. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Five months after law enforcement officials took Hector Herrera's $4,000 at
    Eppley Airfield - saying it smelled of illegal drugs - federal officials
    have decided to give it back.

    U.S. Attorney Tom Monaghan said Wednesday that his office reviewed the case
    of the 30-year-old Mexican immigrant and has declined to pursue the
    forfeiture in court.

    "We looked at the law, the facts and decided not to proceed," he said. He
    would not elaborate.

    Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union in Nebraska, which had
    contended that Herrera was unfairly targeted because of the color of his
    skin, said they were pleased with the decision yet upset that Herrera's
    money had been held up for so long.

    "Clearly we're glad the right thing is being done," said Tim Butz, executive
    director of the ACLU in Nebraska. "But it goes to show that unless the
    government's power is held in check by aggressive vigilance on the part of
    its citizens, we're going to keep losing these battles for civil liberty."

    Lawyers in Monaghan's office would have had to defend the forfeiture in
    court if the government were to keep the cash. Monaghan's decision not to
    proceed means that the money must be returned.

    The return of Herrera's money, however, does not necessarily end the ACLU's
    challenge to searches and seizures at Eppley. The airport surveillance is
    coordinated by the Nebraska State Patrol.

    Butz said he believes that Herrera, a laborer and restaurant worker, was
    stopped because of his ethnic background and the "perception that he was a
    vulnerable target" who would not fight to regain his money.

    Herrera was never charged with a crime nor did he have illegal drugs on him
    when law officers took his money June 16 at Eppley.

    Afterward, State Patrol officials who oversee the drug team defended the

    Herrera was stopped by drug agents after paying cash for a flight to

    When an officer in plain clothes approached him and asked him to be
    searched, Herrera agreed. A drug-sniffing dog indicated that Herrera's
    money was tainted with drug residue. The money was confiscated; Herrera was
    let go.

    Studies have shown that most of the currency in circulation is tainted with
    drug residue.
  13. DelayedReaction

    DelayedReaction Active Member

    May 18, 2004
    When I went on a cruise to Mexico, they said you had to declare more than $10K in cash when going through customs. So it's not just for airlines, it's any border crossing.

    They also restrict how much alcohol you can bring in. :cuss: :fire: :banghead:
  14. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Winter Haven, FL
    One of several cases....

    Carrying large sums of money may not be illegal, but it may be expensive.

  15. cracked butt

    cracked butt Mentor

    Jan 3, 2003
    SE Wisconsin
    As far as bank transactions go, the banks are required to report transactions of 10K or more. I've made a lot of such transactions in the last 10 years or so and have never had the Men in Black visit me in the middle of the night to threaten me, nor do I have black helicoptors circling my neighborhood. :D

    As for carrying around 10K in cash, I'd be really leary of doing so. There are very few legitimate reasons to do so when you can carry travellers checks and most places take credit cards. If the cash is lost or stolen, you have no way of recovering it- you are basicly screwed, with travellers checks, the bank can have send you a new set of them in a matter of hours, maybe even minutes these days. Ask me how I know.
  16. lwsimon

    lwsimon Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    I disagree. Large amounts of cash can come in handy in negotiations, such as buying a new car. Nothing makes the price go down like pulling out a wad of $100s and stating your final offer firmly. They salivate all over the place!

    Furthermore, I maintain it is none of anyone's %^&*( business how much cash I have on me. If you think I commited a crime, get a warrant.
  17. Flatfender

    Flatfender Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Second star to the right
    I remember reading about Actor/Comedian Red Skelton carrying $40,000 to $80,000 cash on him, all the time, back in the 40's or 50's. He grew up poor and didn't want to ever be broke again. Must have been $1000s!
  18. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Yep. I've done it with $500 in twenties. It doesn't hurt to pretend to lose count somewhere around $420 and start over. The longer the car sales parasites look at cash, the hungrier they get.
  19. nordaim

    nordaim New Member

    Dec 14, 2003
    Amish Country, PA.
    The anecdote about Red Skelton reminds me of a man my step-father works with. He is an older gentleman who was raised by a depression era family. As a result, to this day, he always has ~$5000 in cash on him and another ~$5000 at his house. Each paycheck he takes so much in cash, transfers part of it to the roll at home, the remainder to the cash on him. He has done this for decades, slowly increasing the amount carried/stored as time passed.

    As a side note, this same gentleman had an attempted robbery on his house after his maid discovered the large sum of cash and thought there was more in the house. Her boyfriend and another perp broke into the house and attempted to rob it, only to be met by the man and his revolver. Shot and killed the one fellow, hospitalized the other. When he called the cops, they took the one body to the morgue, the other to the hospital, and the homeowner was promptly arrested for murder. He spend about a month in jail on murder charges before being released for acting in self defense.
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    "Arrest the money" is not at all unknown in various jurisdictions. It's not just DEA, either.

    Louisiana passed a state law saying that suspected drug money would be split up 50% to the state, 25% to the involved judge, and 25% to the police jurisdiction making the arrest. It is not necessary that the person owning the money be arrested on a drug charge. There was enough uproar over one incident involving a Florida woman that Florida's state government was very vocal about dissuading Floridians from attending Mardis Gras. I think that AAA got involved enough to warn people of the potential problem about carrying large sums of cash when in Louisiana.

    In east Texas, several yeqrs back, a black guy from Louisiana who does cash deals for old cars for restoration was stopped as a suspected drug dealer. His $11,000 was taken away from him as an "arrest the money" deal. His legal costs to regain his own money were not trivial...

    No, there is no law against possessing any amount of cash. It's just that the present day laws allow "the fuzz" to take it away from you and the burden of proof is on you that it's money that was honestly acquired.


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