Legal Question in Federal Tort Claims in Virginia

I have recently got into a situation where if I go and answer their questions I might be arrested and puyt into jail if they are not satisfied with my answers. IT concern a project where I agreed to assist a lady in getting her and her funds to the states so she could become a U.S. citizen and put her funds into investments. During the process of shipping by diplomatic means a package containing the funds, it fell off the forklift and exposed the funds to the Customs officials in Atlanta and now the Homeland Security/Customs/Border Protection is wanting me to go to Atlanta and answer theri question due to the fact that I cannot and the shipper cannot supply an Origination/Ownership Certificate for the funds and they are suspecting Drug/Smuggling activities going on. Let me assure you , I am not a drug pusher nor a smuggler, I am a Bishop (minister) and I pastor a church her in Virginia, I am a 22 year military veteran and would never do anything to harm my country nor any of its citizens.

What shall I do, do I go to Atlanta and risk being arrested and put into jail or just wait and see what happens on next Thursday.

I was informed by the Courier (WCDC) that they told him if I didn't show up or send the document they would have me arrested.

Jerry

Asked on 8/21/10, 10:34 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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The entire scenario which you've described sounds bogus and fraudulent (in my opinion). The Department of Homeland Security has offices all over the U.S. (including Virginia) and there would be no need for you to travel to Atlanta in order to answer their questions or to be interviewed by their agents in regard to the matter at issue, which, in any case, would be ill-advised for you to do without first consulting with an attorney who is well versed in federal criminal law practice.

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8/26/10, 11:13 am
Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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I might further add that what you've involved yourself in is very

likely related to the so-called 419 Nigerian scam artists who

operate these days throughout cyberspace, preying on naive

folks such as yourself who routinely fall for their fraudulent

schemes.

The clue is your assertion that you were supposedly asked

"to assist a lady in getting her and her funds to the states so

she could become a U.S. citizen and put her funds into investments."

I can assure that there is no such "lady" nor are there any such

funds to be invested.

The only funds very likely at stake in this scam are those to be found

either in your back pocket or bank account.

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8/26/10, 2:36 pm

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