Latest Stories

Vegas judge nixes Mrs. Lapid bid to serve sentence in PH


Marissa Lapid with husband, Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—A judge in Las Vegas, Nevada, has turned down the request of the wife of Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid to live in the Philippines as she serves three years of probation for dollar smuggling and reporting violations, an Inquirer source said.

Last Monday’s ruling by United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen denied Marissa Lapid’s request to live in the Philippines while on probation, said the source who was inside the courtroom when the sentence was handed to the senator’s wife.

The sentence came more than a year after the Department of Homeland Security found $40,000 in her luggage when she entered Nevada in November 2011. She pleaded guilty in a plea bargain.


Aside from the probation that comes with travel restrictions, the sentence includes a five-month home confinement for which she was required to continue wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically tracks her location, according to reports quoting the spokesperson of Nevada US Attorney Daniel Bogden.

The source explained this “means she can’t travel and has to report to an officer of the court in a supervised release system for three consecutive years, usually once a month.”

The source declined to be named, citing future work in the Philippines.

“There is usually a fine and an additional sentence of time served or added as possible total time to serve if they fail to adhere to the terms of the probation,” the source said, without giving details.

The courtroom was filled with Filipinos when the judge handed the sentence. Senator Lapid did not reply to requests for comments.

But Marissa Lapid’s lawyer, Eliot Krieger, in an earlier report, said Marissa may be able to return to the Philippines “after five months of home confinement with the permission of the probation department.”

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.


All the deposits, plus the $40,000 confiscated from Lapid when she arrived at McCarran International Airport in Nevada on Nov. 27, 2011, were forfeited by the US government, Krieger said.

Lapid was held at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Las Vegas for three days after she was arrested on Jan. 15, 2012.

Special agent Albert Giangregorio of the ICE’s Money Laundering Asset Removal Group, in an affidavit, said Lapid “knowingly concealed $40,000” when she arrived at McCarran International Airport.

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 a pair of 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, a source from the Department of Homeland Security said.

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.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: court , dollar smuggling , Global Nation , Marissa Lapid

  • 711sense

    At sinugaling pa kamo. Saan kaya nakukuha ng mga ito ang kanilang limpak limpak na salapi.Dapat talaga ipalifestyle check itong mga Lapid at mga iba pang nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno. Kaso, sabi nga ni Erap, pa weather weather lang yan kaya ang mga malalakas sa gobyerno lagi lang exempted sa kaso.

  • http://twitter.com/Olibo2 Olibo

    This is the kind of leader we Filipinos voted to create and amend the laws of the land. They utilize members of their family to hide their loot. You can see how stupid they are for not knowing the     US immigration currency laws. They should be charged under AMLA and don’t vote them again.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


Copyright © 2014, .
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
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace