December 4, 2004, 8:59 AM WASHINGTON (AP)
When Michael and Angela McCarthy crossed the border from Ontario into Michigan in April 2001, an officer asked them where they'd been. The couple answered truthfully -- Cuba -- and mentioned they had brought back a couple of cigars.
Three years and thousands of dollars in legal fees later, the Port Huron, Mich., couple is driving to Washington this week to find out how much the U.S. government will fine them for their illegal trip. Administrative Law Judge Irwin Schroeder could make them pay up to $110,000 after considering their case during a hearing Monday.
The McCarthy case is one of about 20 now before judges of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control, according to the Center for International Policy, which advocates ending travel restrictions to Cuba. Many more cases get settled before they ever reach a judge....