A 78-year-old traveler hid more than $20,000 in her girdle--and another $5000 in her blouse and bra--in an attempt to skirt laws requiring the disclosure of large amounts of cash being carried by air passengers, federal investigators allege.
Victoria Faren and her 48-year-old daughter, both Florida residents, were stopped earlier this year by Customs officials as they attempted to fly from the Detroit airport to the Philippines, according to an August 7 U.S. District Court filing.
After agents noted discrepancies between what Faren declared on a Customs form and what she told inspectors during screening, agents searched her carry-on bag and recovered more than $12,000, which had been placed in multiple wallets and sewn into a pouch.
When asked if she was carrying any additional cash, Faren admitted there was $3000 inside her blouse. During further questioning, she copped to having $2000 sewn into a bra strap. Then, after agents detected a bulge near her buttocks, Faren removed another $5000 from her girdle. When investigators found a second bulge at the front of the septuagenarian’s girdle, Faren “began to cry” and confessed she had more cash there.
“Approximately $21,000 was secreted in her girdle,” according to a complaint seeking forfeiture of Faren’s entire $40,977 stash. The government filing does not disclose why the two Floridians were traveling to the Philippines from Detroit.
When questioned by federal agents, Faren (pictured above) claimed that the cash represented part of the proceeds of the sale of her home (for $120,000) to her son. Faren, who said that she recently retired, added that she had previously wired some of the sale’s proceeds to the Philippines, but that, this time, “she thought it was safer to carry the money.”
According to Florida property records, Faren sold a Clearwater home to her son Reshley and his wife in April 2013. The sales price was $215,000.