David Merrick, the producer of "Hello Dolly" and other Broadway hits, was charged with currency violations after allegedly trying to take too much undeclared money out of the country, authorities said.
Merrick, 78, had about $95,000 in cash and $40,000 in money orders when he and his girlfriend, Natalie Ting Teresa, were stopped at Kennedy Airport on Wednesday, said Ann Driscoll, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.Customs agents filed a complaint against Merrick accusing him of violating currency laws. He was issued a summons and ordered to appear in federal court in Brooklyn next week; he could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
His companion was not charged.
Americans leaving the country may take as much money as they wish, but amounts over $10,000 must be declared, said Customs spokeswoman Joan Baran. Merrick had reported only $5,000, Driscoll said.