Holocaust-era assets and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties are the subjects of this “Asset Search News Roundup”:

    1. My article “During A War Everybody Loots A Little Bit“, discusses Nazi-looted art.  A December 1, 2009, press release also raises this issue.  The December press release explains that U.S. authorities recently recovered a painting in a Holocaust-era assets case.  The “Jeune Fille à la Robe Bleue” painting depicted below, had been looted from a Jewish family that fled Belgium during WWII.  A Long Island, N.Y. gallery owner ultimately cooperated in the painting’s forfeiture.

Image: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

  1. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties are sometimes used to locate assets that are parked or hidden offshore.  A Swiss prosecutor proceeded in Florida last month under such a treaty in The Matter of Jarred Kaplan, 2:09-mc-00040-UA-DNF.  As outlined by a memorandum of law, the prosecutor sought to interview a possible witness in Florida pursuant to The Treaty for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, May 25, 1973, United States-Switzerland, 27 U.S.T. 2019, T.I.A.S. 8302.  This suspected witness was believed to be related to the purchase of a watch stolen from Watchmaker’s Watch Center in Lugano, Switzerland on September 11, 2008.

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams