Lapid’s wife gets 3 years probation in US


Sen. Lito Lapid and his wife Marissa

LOS ANGELES—The wife of  Sen. Lito Lapid felt “very relieved” that her cash smuggling case is over following her sentencing by the US district court to three years of probation, said her lawyer Eliot Krieger. The probation period includes five months of home confinement.

Krieger said that Marissa Lapid, who remains confined in her residence in Las Vegas, Nevada, may be able to return to the Philippines “after five months of home confinement with the permission of the Probation Department.”

Marissa Lapid “is very relieved to have the whole thing over,” Krieger told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Krieger said that in a plea agreement that he negotiated, Lapid pleaded guilty to cash smuggling and conspiracy to structure transactions “with intent to evade reporting requirements.”

Lapid was charged before US Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen in Las Vegas and sentenced on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

The reporting violations stemmed from a series of cash deposits made by Lapid in different banks in Las Vegas from January 2009 to June 2010 totaling more than $150,000.

Banks are required to submit to the federal government currency transaction reports on cash deposits that exceed $10,000. Lapid’s cash deposits ranged from $5,000 to $9,000.

All the deposits, plus the $40,000 confiscated from Lapid when she arrived at McCarran International Airport on Nov. 27, 2010, were forfeited by the US government, Krieger said. The lien placed on Lapid’s Las Vegas properties to cover her $500,000 bail has been released, he added.

Lapid was held at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Las Vegas for three days after she was arrested on January 15 for allegedly smuggling $40,000 into the US on Nov. 27, 2010.

ICE special agent Albert Giangregorio, of the agency’s Money Laundering Asset Removal Group, stated in an affidavit that Lapid “knowingly concealed $40,000” when she arrived at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Nov. 27, 2010.

Lapid, a permanent resident or green card holder, declared in the US Customs and Border Protection form that she was carrying $10,000 and P10,000 (equivalent to $225), Giangregorio said in his affidavit. After searching her luggage, ICE agents found $40,000 in two socks and a cloth bag hidden in the lining, he added.

US federal law requires arriving passengers to declare any currency or monetary instrument totaling $10,000 or more. Violators are fined a maximum of $500,000 and the money recovered is confiscated by the US government. Bulk cash smuggling is also punishable by a maximum 10-year imprisonment, according to a source from Homeland Security.

Court documents showed that when lapid was questioned by customs officials about the undeclared money, she said “I’m sorry… it’s for my house.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • mavtan

    Sana naman matuto na ang mga taong bumoboto sa mga ganitong klase ng senador tulad ni Lito Lapid.

  • Flexiblechair

    Knowing his husband is a senator and part of a legislative body, this really sickens me! siguradong merong balik na karma sa mga taong ito.

  • uncle

     magkano ang chicharon pag benta sa USA,at meron siya deposit ng  dolalrs monthly?

  • Jose

    I was watching the U S news coverage of the wife of the distinguish senator lapid, and she was smiling and happy. Take note that she has been meted a 6months house arrest and a 3years suspended sentence for not declaring $ 40,000 upon entry of U S. A normal person would be ashamed and sad, but not her.
    Some years back, the wife of the distinguished senator sotto also got caught not declaring $100,000 upon entering the U S. I wonder if she was smiling and happy then. Why is this happening to the wives of senators, everyone knows the limit is $ 10,000 , yet palusot pa.
    Don’t they know that the shame in not only to themselves but to the whole Filipino nation.
    Never mind the shame on their distinguished senator husbands, the Filipino people already know the values and morals of the people in the senate.
    Where are the investigative journalist now, they should blow up this story.
    Raissa , where are you…

  • Benjamin Brillantes

    bali wala sa kanila ang pera kasi nakaw yan kay juan de la cruz “ating pera” tinga lang yan kung kumpara sa budget ng senador..lugi na naman tayo…hindi sila

  • sasama

    …pag nasa US sila, aminado agad eh…pag sa pilipins yan…st loots muna…

  • Hey_Dudes

    If senator Lito Lapid is a man of integrity and decency, he should resign from the senate over this issue involving his wife.  Hindi na ba nahiya ang mga taong ito for the scandalous circumstance?  This will surely be another black mark for the Filipino people around the world.

  • notmeitsthedog

    Is it bad that  our senators, congress and generals are smuggling money out of the country? Oh well, we deserve the government officials we voted in power.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    He lost credibility and every single legitimacy to be a Senator and occupying any official functions.

  • Edgardo Mendoza

    katas ng lahar yung tatak ng sapatos ni madam

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos