Victoria Faren, 78, is being asked to forfeit about $40,000
in cash she hid in her clothing and carry-on baggage while
trying to board a flight from Detroit to the Philippines in
Customs officers got suspicious when Faren first declared having
$200 in cash but later said the amount was $1,200, according to
documents filed in Michigan federal court on Friday.
Federal agents found $8,000 in her carry-on and $4,977 sewn into
a cloth pouch and sealed envelops in her bag, already past the
$10,000 threshold at which travelers must declare the cash they
are taking abroad, according to prosecutors.
There was more. Faren pulled $3,000 from her blouse and $2,000
that was sewn in her bra strap. Noticing bulges in her girdle,
agents patted Faren down and found $21,000 stuffed inside.
Faren had sold her house for $120,000 and was trying to carry
some of the money to the Philippines because she thought it was
safer, according to a federal complaint. She told authorities
she hid it out of fear it was illegal to take that much cash out
of the country.
She was not charged with a crime but must appear in court to try
to persuade a judge not to forfeit the money.
(Reporting By Kevin Murphy)
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