By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAGISTRATE yesterday seized more than $29,000 from an American man who lied to authorities about the amount of money in his possession before his scheduled return to the United States.
Magistrate Constance Delancy underscored to 60-year-old Ronald Stengel the seriousness of the two charges to which he pleaded guilty concerning the crimes committed on November 13.
Stengel acknowledged his mistake and apologised for his actions.
The Tampa, Florida resident was told that the penalties for making a false declaration to an officer of the United States and failing to declare carried a fine and/or a term of imprisonment.
He was returning to the United States on the day in question when US Customs and Border Patrol officials detained him at the Pre-clearance Departure Lounge at the Lynden Pindling International Airport for failing to declare $29,581 and lying to a US official that he was not carrying more than US $10,000 in cash into the US.
It is not illegal to travel with large sums of money. However, travellers carrying more than $10,000 must declare it on a special form.
Magistrate Delancy accepted the defendant’s guilty plea, but did not fine or give him a custodial sentence.
Instead, the magistrate ordered the $29,581 to be forfeited to the Crown.
ASP Clifford Daxon was the prosecutor in the case.