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Cash-stuffed bra lands Florida woman in trouble at airport

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) - Padding in her bra and girdle got a Florida woman some unwelcome attention at a U.S. airport.

Victoria Faren, 78, is being asked to forfeit about $40,000 in cash she hid in her clothing and carry-on baggage while trying to board a flight from Detroit to the Philippines in April.

Customs officers got suspicious when Faren first declared having $200 in cash but later said the amount was $1,200, according to documents filed in Michigan federal court on Friday.

Federal agents found $8,000 in her carry-on and $4,977 sewn into a cloth pouch and sealed envelops in her bag, already past the $10,000 threshold at which travelers must declare the cash they are taking abroad, according to prosecutors.

There was more. Faren pulled $3,000 from her blouse and $2,000 that was sewn in her bra strap. Noticing bulges in her girdle, agents patted Faren down and found $21,000 stuffed inside.

Faren had sold her house for $120,000 and was trying to carry some of the money to the Philippines because she thought it was safer, according to a federal complaint. She told authorities she hid it out of fear it was illegal to take that much cash out of the country.

She was not charged with a crime but must appear in court to try to persuade a judge not to forfeit the money.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy)

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