I. STARTING ASSET SEARCHES AT BANKS
Asset searches at banks raise the question: how do you search for bank accounts you are unaware of? One wife found a box in the basement. Her divorcing husband forgot to take it when he moved out. This box had an offshore bank’s brochure and the husband’s application to open his secret account there. Clues that can help you detect bank accounts usually come from: witness interviews or informant’s tips; forensic examinations of a cell phone, personal computer, or gps system; phone bills; hotel bills; credit card statements; frequent flyer miles statements; passports; court files from past lawsuits; physical surveillance; & trash pulls.
II. DO’S & DON’TS FOR ASSET SEARCHES AT BANKS
Proper ways for conducting asset searches at banks include employing:
- letters rogatory;
- compelled consent forms;
- &/or by getting the permission of any co-signatory on a bank account.
In general, it is illegal to elicit bank account information by:
- impersonating a bank customer during pretext phone calls;
- bribing a bank insider;
- hacking a bank’s computers.
If you illegally gather bank account information you could violate privacy or other laws listed at “Pretexting During An Asset Search.” Furthermore, you might be held criminally or civilly liable if your private investigator violates laws while conducting asset searches on your behalf. Perhaps most important to know, is that some individuals offering asset searches will sell you snake oil. For example, former private investigator Elaine White and her husband ex-cop Cullen Johnson offered to perform asset searches at banks. These two however, sold their clients fabricated bank account information. They are mentioned at the “Investigators Gone Bad” video:
Video: courtesy of Offshore Alert
Copyright 2019 Fred L. Abrams