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Category Archives: Bankruptcy

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Locating Hidden Assets By Spotting The Red Flags

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Money Laundering, White-Collar Crime Generally

Domestic tax authorities, financial Intelligence units, bankruptcy trustees and banks rely on red flags to detect illicit assets, as mentioned by “Recognizing Hidden Assets, The Red Flags.” Recognizing Hidden Assets, The Red Flags notes that a broad range of litigants may uncover hidden assets by spotting the red flags.  These red flags are listed at… Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: July 31, 2013

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, Money Laundering, Public Corruption

Hiding assets via jewelry or other portable valuable commodities and former Turks & Caicos premier Michael Misick: “On the trail of Michael Mastro: how to flee the law when you are 87” is about Michael & Linda Mastro.  These two might have secretly transferred bankruptcy estate assets by shipping a Range Rover full of jewelry, (i.e…. Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: November 14, 2012

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, White-Collar Crime Generally

This Asset Search News Roundup reports on Michael and Linda Mastro’s supposed concealment of two diamond rings- The October 25, 2012 indictment of Michael Mastro and his wife Linda, alleges violations of money laundering and bankruptcy fraud laws.  Among other things, the indictment accuses the Mastros of fraudulently hiding portable valuable commodities, such as a… Continue Reading

Protecting Assets By Utilizing A Nominee Incorporation Service

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Money Laundering

Ultra-high net worth divorcing spouses, kleptocrats, bankruptcy debtors, judgment debtors, etc., could easily conceal their beneficially owned assets by utilizing nominee incorporation services (“NIS”).  Pages 63-64 of The 2007 National Money Laundering Strategy, in essence divulge that some NIS promote the creation of non-transparent bank accounts and shell companies. Page 64 expressly says: “The FBI believes that… Continue Reading

Seattle’s Ubiquitous Asset Protection Lawyer, Ms. Mary Simon

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, White-Collar Crime Generally

The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations August 1, 2006 report on offshore tax haven abuses explains that assets can be hidden with the assistance of  “lawyers, brokers, bankers, offshore service providers, and others” offering offshore asset protection.  Seattle lawyer Mary Simon appears to have especially provided offshore asset protection services that featured Belizean trusts. As revealed by… Continue Reading

Using Pretrial Discovery In Cases With Foreign Trusts

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support

It is no surprise that foreign trusts can easily be used as elements to fraudulently protect or conceal beneficially owned assets.  In some jurisdictions a trust may however, be considered void if the trust was “self-settled” (i.e. the grantor and beneficiary were found to be one and the same).  Trust veils might also be pierced… Continue Reading

Collecting Evidence In An Offshore Asset Search

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Swiss Banks

The pretrial discovery phase of a divorce, bankruptcy or other legal matter is often the best chance one has to collect evidence of any assets hidden offshore.   The attached letter rogatory* submitted to the Swiss court, was included in one divorcing wife’s pretrial effort to gather such evidence. At the time of pretrial discovery in… Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: November 26, 2011

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, Tax Fraud

Investigating assets by issuing subpoenas and a letter rogatory– It is well-known that subpoenas may play a critically important role in an asset investigation.  To try to locate bankruptcy estate assets for example, the trustee in Michael Mastro’s bankruptcy case subpoenaed credit card records from Amercian Express and a credit file from Equifax.  An earlier… Continue Reading

Red Flags In One Of Washington State’s Largest Bankruptcies

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

In one of the largest bankruptcies in Washington state history, Chapter 7 trustee James F. Rigby Jr. is searching for assets that belong to Michael R. Mastro’s bankruptcy estate.  The bankruptcy estate assets could include everything from life insurance polices to expensive jewelry and other portable valuable commodities.  During the March 24, 2010 deposition of… Continue Reading

Mr. Mastro’s Bankruptcy Estate & His Self-Settled Trusts

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

Although real estate developer Michael R. Mastro tried to protect assets by forming three trusts, the Court in Mr. Mastro’s bankruptcy case still found these trusts to be void.  According to the Court’s May 28, 2010 order, the trusts were void as to Mr. Mastro’s creditors because the trusts were “self-settled” (i.e. created and funded… Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: August 18, 2011

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Money Laundering

Today’s “Asset Search News Roundup” deals with the beneficial ownership of assets. Although it was published as early as October 14, 2007, “Asset Search Indicia For Divorce, Debt Collection & Bankruptcy” is still relevant today.  This is true because it reveals how beneficial owners sometimes conceal assets by using tools ranging from sham trusts to… Continue Reading

Following The Money Trails From Marital Assets To Nazi-Looted Art

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Holocaust-Era Assets, Money Laundering, Tax Fraud

Nazi-looted art, bankruptcy estate assets, marital assets and almost anything else can conceivably be secretly transferred by common methods.  Just a few of the common methods include the use of intermediaries (i.e. nominees), forgeries, portable valuable commodities and multiple jurisdictions to fraudulently transfer or hide assets. By studying these kinds of methods, the continuing legal education… Continue Reading

Mr. Hecker’s 10 Year Sentence For Hiding Assets & Fraud

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, White-Collar Crime Generally

According to his wife’s September 28, 2009 affidavit, Dennis Hecker had stopped financially supporting her and was hiding assets.  Dennis Hecker’s wife therefore asked Judge Jay M. Quam of Hennepin County Minnesota, to impute income to Mr. Hecker and to issue an interim order of spousal maintenance and child support.  As more fully set forth… Continue Reading

Peter Madoff & His Competing Claimants

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Securities Fraud

"Forced Collections Against A Fraudster Like Madoff" & "Competing Over Mr. Allen Stanford’s Assets" described the problem of competing claimants trying to recover from a limited pool of funds.  This same problem has been encountered by the plaintiffs in The Lautenberg Foundation v. Madoff, 09-Civ-00816, whose lawsuit I mentioned at "Suing Peter Madoff For Bernard… Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: April 21, 2010

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, Financial Institutions, Swiss Banks, Tax Fraud

This "Asset Search News Roundup" concentrates on an alleged $45 million dollar tax fraud and the conviction of Mr. Dennis Hecker’s girlfriend, Christi Michele Rowan: An April 15th press release explained that property developers Mauricio Cohen Assor and his son, Leon Cohen-Levy are accused of hiding $45 million from the IRS by using nominees to… Continue Reading

Trustee Rigby’s Latest Lawsuit Over Mastro Estate Assets

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

My November 1, 2009 article highlighted the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of real estate developer Michael R. Mastro. At “Trustee in Mastro bankruptcy goes after four new targets“, the Seattle Times too commented on Mr. Mastro and wrote about one of the latest lawsuits filed to recover Mr. Mastro’s bankruptcy estate assets. The lawsuit was… Continue Reading

Asset Search News Roundup: January 9, 2010

Posted in Asset Search News, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support, Securities Fraud

The January 9th "Asset Search News Roundup" provides an update on a couple of matters from Minnesota: Both "Money Laundering By Minneapolis Managers?" and "Associated Bank Sued For Supposedly Ignoring Red Flags" described pending civil complaints against suspected securities fraudsters Trevor Cook, Patrick Kiley and their companies.  Another complaint filed against them was commenced on… Continue Reading

Mr. Mastro Supposedly Transfers His Rolls Royce & Other Assets

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

“Bankruptcy Fraud, Money Laundering & Hidden Assets” outlines how a Chapter 7 debtor hid his Porsche and Rolls Royce and other assets.  That debtor eventually pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. §152 (Concealment of assets; false oaths and claims; bribery) and one count of 18 U.S.C §157 (Bankruptcy fraud).  “An Asset Search For Automobiles” similarly… Continue Reading

Has Auto Magnate Dennis Hecker Hidden His Assets?

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Divorce & Child Support

As a high-profile Twin Cities auto magnate, Mr. Hecker had been one of Minnesota’s largest car dealers.  During April 2008, he sought a divorce from his wife of about fifteen years in Hennepin County Family Court, Case No. 27-FA-08-2731.  Mr. and Mrs. Hecker however, stipulated to dismiss said divorce case during October 2008.  At that… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Estate Property Allegedly Concealed By A Cop

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

An "Asset Search In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case" talks about researching a debtor’s bankruptcy petition and other court filings to help determine whether there is any fraudulently concealed bankruptcy estate property.  This type of research recently resulted in the filing of a bankruptcy fraud complaint against Kelvin Daniels, who is a New York City cop. … Continue Reading

Competing Over Mr. Allen Stanford’s Assets

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Securities Fraud, White-Collar Crime Generally

Suspected Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford may have facilitated one of the largest financial frauds known to date.  Any receivers, investors or other stakeholders with claims against Mr. Stanford under bankruptcy or other laws, are of course trying to interdict Stanford’s assets.  As I mentioned in my "March 25, 2009 Asset Search News Roundup", these competing… Continue Reading

Clawback Caused By A Ponzi Scheme

Posted in Asset Clawback & Securites Fraud, Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy, Securities Fraud

Image: Steve Hillebrand / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Investors who profited because of Allen B. Stanford’s suspected securities fraud / Ponzi scheme may face clawback lawsuits under the Bankruptcy Code, according to Bloomberg.Com’s "Stanford Receiver May Need a Decade to Pay Victims".  Investors who collected profits from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme could too face… Continue Reading

An Asset Search In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case

Posted in Asset Search/Fraud Investigation, Bankruptcy

An asset search for any bankruptcy estate property hidden during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, usually begins with an investigation of the debtor’s court filings.  For example, the following court filings may contain red flags that a debtor has concealed assets / property: the petition; schedules; statement of financial affairs; tax returns. Critical to an asset… Continue Reading