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ICE Seizures for Forfeiture

What happens if federal agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seize your U.S. Currency or other property? You should be issued a receipt at the time of the seizure.

Within 60 days after the seizure, you should receive a letter in the mail called the “notice of seizure and information to claimants.” The notice of seizure is also called the “CAFRA form.” The letter says that “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized the property.”

The notice of seizure will allege that the U.S. Currency or other property was seized pursuant to 18 USC 981(a)(1)(C), 18 USC 1956(c)(7), 18 USC 1961(1) as the proceeds of unlawful activity.

The letter is sent by the Fines, Penalties & Forfeiture Officer. Along with the notice of seizure and information to claimants (CAFRA form), you will receive a CAFRA Election of Proceedings and Seized Asset Claim Form.

The only way to contest the seizure is to file a verified claim that demands that the case is referred for court action and judicial forfeiture proceedings.

Although the paperwork gives you the option to stipulate to the legality of the seizure by filing a petition for remission or mitigation, those administrative options rarely work. Instead, hire an attorney to help you file a verified claim for court action and judicial referral.

Attorneys for ICE Seizures for Forfeiture

If your property was seized by federal agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), contact an experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney at Sammis Law Firm.

Attorney Leslie Sammis can help you fight an ICE seizure for forfeiture. The only way to contest the legality of the seizure is to file a verified claim for court action. The verified claim demands court action and referral for judicial forfeiture proceedings.

As soon as the claim is received by the address listed in the personal or online notice, it triggers a 90 day deadline for an AUSA to file a complaint for forfeiture in the appropriate district court. If the AUSA misses that deadline, then ICE must immediately return the funds to your attorney.

Call 813-250-0500 for more information.


Additional Resources

SEACATS Forfeiture Database – Along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE tracks seized property through the Seized Assets and Case Tracking System (SEACATS).

ICE ACCESS – The ICE Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS) gives law enforcement agencies the chance to work with ICE by coordinating different services and programs. The ACCESS program provides information on the Delegation of Immigration Authority—287(g) program.


This article was last updated on Monday, May 24, 2021.

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