Under rules by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), tourists caught traveling illegally to Cuba can be fined up to $55,000, although most first-time violators are fined $7,500 -- less if they can prove, for instance, they performed humanitarian work on the island.
When issued a penalty notice by OFAC, the individual has 30 days to appeal. If the case is not settled out of court, the case goes before an administrative law judge, who can uphold or dismiss the penalty.
There's one more administrative appeal available, to a person known as a ''Treasury Secretary designee,'' according to an OFAC spokeswoman. If the fine still stands, the individual can take the case to a U.S. federal district court.