Traveling Poker Pros Warned Of US Authorities Confiscating Cash

Last Updated on December 15, 2021 Author:Adrian Sterne

US Customs confiscating moneySummary

  • US Law enforcement officers are allowed to seize properties they believe are involved in crime under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Law
  • Daniel Negreanu and Ari Engel are among pros who shared their negative experience at US airports
  • Matt Savage warns players to be extra careful when carrying loads of cash in the US

US authorities are reportedly confiscating large sums of money from poker pros traveling into the US.

This story first emerged when World Poker Tour (WPT) Director Matt Savage shared one woman’s horrible experience at an airport in Dallas.

The lady from Chicago had checked in luggage containing over $100,000 in cash at Dallas Love Field Airport which was discovered by a sniffer dog. Law enforcement officers then seized the money despite the passenger not committing any crime. She was not arrested or charged.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Law

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Law allows US authorities to confiscate property they suspect is or will be used to commit certain crimes. Officers can do this without having to arrest or charge the owners, but to reclaim their property, they should provide proof that the seized property wasn’t connected to any criminal activity.

We couldn’t tell where the woman got the money or where it’s going to be used, but the point is, she did not commit any crime. No law in the US prohibits people from bringing with them large sums of cash while traveling to and within the country.

Poker Pros Fall Victims to Flawed Law

When Savage posted the story on Twitter, several high-profile pros shared their experiences of having to be stopped and questioned by law enforcers at US airports for checking in some cash. Daniel Negreanu said he experienced the same once in Miami airport where he was pulled off from his flight seat by 16 officers.

Ari Engel also shared that he was also pulled aside at Asheville airport for the same reason – he had with him more than $10K in cash and was subject to additional screening. While Engel had presented the necessary documents to avoid confiscation, he said it was not a fun experience.

Other poker pros have had to contact their lawyers to get things sorted out, including Dave “Viffer” Peat who shared that he was yanked off a flight out of Detroit with his $7K cash and Rolex taken away from him. He had to seek the help of an attorney to get his properties back. They were returned after 90 days.

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