Have the methods mentioned at “Asset Search Indicia For Divorce, Debt Collection & Bankruptcy“, been used to hide assets during a financial fraud?  Are there any red flags that assets are being fraudulently concealed?  Finding answers to these questions can be critically important if you are trying to recover: marital assets; probate assets; bankruptcy estate assets, business assets; trust assets; receivership assets, etc.

In some cases, a beneficial owner may conceal his / her assets in schemes as basic as fraudulently conveying an automobile to a friend or family member.  This and other simple schemes might possibly be detected by the kind of computer-based research mentioned at “A Low-Cost Asset Search“.  Identifying a beneficial owner’s hidden assets may however, ultimately require far more than just computer-based research.  This is true because some beneficial owners hide their assets by using a nominee or intermediary to secretly open bank accounts and to purchase real estate or other property.

Furthermore, asset concealment schemes sometimes utilize foreign bank accounts maintained in multiple jurisdictions.  Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff for example, concealed assets by relying on foreign bank secrecy laws and laundering assets between banks in the U.S. and the U.K.   By using readily available asset protection services, determined criminals like Mr. Madoff can try to hide their assets in anticipation of a divorce, bankruptcy, or other legal matters.

An August 1, 2006 report on offshore tax haven abuses by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations additionally recognizes that assets could be hidden with the help of  “lawyers, brokers, bankers, offshore service providers, and others“.  As U.S.A. Today indicated at its February 23, 2007 article, “Corporate owners hide assets, identities“, domestic shell companies can similarly be established in states like Nevada, Wyoming, and Delaware, in order to hide assets.

Depending on the circumstances, an asset search might also involve issues related to U.S. privacy or U.S. bank secrecy laws.  If assets have been fraudulently hidden, then criminal law violations may too have occurred, as suggested by “An Asset Search, Tax Fraud & Divorce“.  Besides seeking a criminal prosecution in such a situation, there could be a broad range of available legal remedies for recovering hidden assets and / or gathering legally sufficient evidence about them.

Copyright 2007-2015 Fred L. Abrams