Nurse is Asking for Return of $41,000 Taken by Customs and Border Protection at Airport

May 10, 2018 Last Updated: May 10, 2018

Anthonia Nwaorie from Katy,Texas, has waited six months to get tens of thousands of dollars back from Customs and Border Protection agents at the airport. She is done with the waiting and has filed a class action lawsuit against the federal agency.

As a naturalized U.S. citizen and nurse, Nwaorie has wanted to give back to her home country, Nigeria, to build a clinic, since her daughter died a decade ago. So she saved more $40,000 over the last six years.

While heading to Nigeria, she was stopped by Customs agents at George Bush Airport, because of the $41,000. She was required to declare the money under U.S. law because it was over $10,000. Nwaorie  said she simply did not know the law.

She missed her flight to Nigeria and was taken into custody for an interview. After waiting at home for days, Nwaorie finally received a call from Customs. They said the U.S. attorney would not prosecute her and she could get her money back with strings attached.

“I have to sign that I will not sue them. I will not ask for interest on the money. I will not ask for any attorney fees or any attorney fees that might accrue before they could release it. And when they receive that letter then I have to wait for 8 to 10 weeks to get the money,” Nwaorie said.

Nwaorie decided to get an attorney, who told her that was a money grab, which happens far too often at Customs.