SOUTH FAYETTE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man's life savings of more than $82,000 was seized at Pittsburgh International Airport in August, and now he and his daughter are suing.
Rebecca Brown, 54, of Lowell, Massachusetts, told Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE her 79-year-old retired father, Terry Rolin, of South Fayette Township, asked her to help manage the cash he and his late parents had squirreled away in hiding spots throughout the family home.
"It was late Saturday night after the banks closed when he gave me the money, and I had an early (Monday) morning flight home. So I didn't get a chance to get to a bank in Pittsburgh," Brown told TribLIVE. "I was concerned about traveling with cash, so I checked online and found out it was legal to travel domestically with cash."
Brown told TribLIVE she was carrying the cash in a small, zippered bag inside a satchel when she was questioned about it by a Transportation Security Administration agent at a security checkpoint. After getting to the gate, she said she was approached by a state trooper and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.
The trooper and DEA agent asked Brown about the money and had her call her father, who was disoriented from being awakened. Brown was told their stories didn’t match up and they were seizing the cash.
A class-action lawsuit claims the TSA and DEA agents acted unlawfully when they seized the cash Brown was carrying. It goes on to allege agencies routinely seize cash from air passengers carrying anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 and asks a judge to prohibit such seizures without specific probable cause.