Sen. Lito Lapid’s wife, Marissa, arrested in the U.S. for smuggling $50,000

Philstar.com reports that Marissa Lapid-the wife of Senator Lito Lapid-was arrested shortly after arriving in Las Vegas last January 15. The report revealed: "Marissa’s arrest arose from a U.S. federal warrant issued against her on Jan. 5, 2012 in connection with her earlier arrest on November 27, 2011 for the dollar smuggling attempt."

Philstar.com reports that Marissa Lapid-the wife of Senator Lito Lapid-was arrested shortly after arriving in Las Vegas last January 15. The report revealed: "Marissa’s arrest arose from a U.S. federal warrant issued against her on Jan. 5, 2012 in connection with her earlier arrest on November 27, 2011 for the dollar smuggling attempt."

 

The report information about Marissa’s arrest last November detailed in an affidavit filed by U.S. authorities. Back then, Marissa initially declared to Customs personnel at the Las Vegas airport that "she had in her possession only $10,000." However, after her luggage was searched, they found "two socks containing $10,000 each and another $20,000 was recovered inside a cloth bag."

 

The Philstar.com report pointed out: "Under U.S. laws, anyone carrying more than $10,000 cash should fill out Customs Form 4790 and submit it to Customs authorities at the point of entry or departure. The possessor must also be prepared to prove legitimate ownership of the cash. U.S. Customs officials at the Las Vegas airport reportedly seized the $50,000 cash pending investigation of the case."

 

For some reason, Marissa was released without posting bail back then. The report cited Atty. Filmer Abrajano, Sen. Lapid's chief of staff, who admitted that he couldn’t explain why Marissa was released last November. He added that she spent Christmas in the Philippines.

 

Abrajano went on to say that when Marissa returned to Las Vegas last Janusary 15, she was "apparently not aware that a case had already been filed against her."

 

 

In any case, Sen. Lapid said that after a court appearance, Marissa was allowed to post bail.  The senator added that an American lawyer is now assisting Marissa. However, the report noted: "Marissa [has to] remain in Las Vegas pending the resolution of her dollar smuggling case." Sen. Lapid said that he was informed that a hearing on the case has been set on February 7. The Philstar.com report did not name Marissa’s American lawyer, nor did it reveal how much the bail was.

 

If found guilty and convicted, the report says that Marissa "could be sentenced up to five years in jail, fined up to $250,000, and made to forfeit the $50,000 cash recovered from her." Philstar.com emphasized: "The criminal complaint against Marissa cited the violation of U.S. laws, regardless of whether or not the $50,000 was acquired legally."

 

Meanwhile, in keeping with the court’s orders, Marissa has surrendered her passport and has restricted her travel to only within Clark County, Nevada. That is, "unless the pretrial services office of the court gives her permission to leave." Philstar.com pointed out that the court also ordered her to wear an ankle bracelet monitoring device.

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For more on this story, log on to Philstar.com.

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