A 78-year-old woman may lose nearly $41,000 earned from selling her home because she tried to smuggle it through Detroit Metro Airport—in her carry-on luggage, bra, and girdle, reports the Detroit Free Press. Customs officials became suspicious when Victoria Faren, traveling with her daughter in April, kept changing her story when asked how much money she had on her. The $200 she initially revealed quickly multiplied as officials discovered $8,000 crammed in wallets, $4,000 in a cloth sack, nearly $1,000 in sealed envelopes, $3,000 in Faren's shirt, $2,000 sewn into her bra strap, and—when authorities noticed a bulge in her backside—a whopping $21,000 in her girdle, according to ABC News.
Why did she do it? Court documents say Faren had already wired some money (from her $120,000 home sale) to the Philippines, but was afraid to mail the rest and figured she wasn't allowed to fly with it—though US Customs makes clear that she only had to fill out a form. Authorities say they don't have to give her the money back because it was a "currency reporting violation" that involved "bulk cash smuggling," notes the Free Press. Her daughter says she had no clue about Faren's covert cash, and adds that "her mother [is] old." (At least authorities didn't find any live animals stuffed in her suitcase.)