Determined criminals sometimes conceal their illicit cash by laundering it through banks located in multiple jurisdictions. Criminals are not the only ones concealing assets by using bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions. Whether you are a divorcing spouse; a creditor in a bankruptcy case; are collecting money owed on a judgment; etc., these ideas may help you search for bank accounts &/or gather legally sufficient evidence about them:
THE UNIFORM INTERSTATE DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY ACT (“the UIDDA”)—The UIDDA may apply to your case if you are searching for monies transferred through bank accounts in multiple states in the U.S. The UIDDA has been codified in N.Y. at CPLR § 3119 & it “provides a streamlined procedure for obtaining disclosure…for use in an action in another state or territory within the United States.” Connors, Practice Commentary, McKinney’s Cons Laws of NY, CPLR § 3119. Most states in the U.S. have adopted the UIDDA. This generally makes it easier for you to use subpoenas to depose bank witnesses in multiple states in the U.S. At these subpoenas, you can also request that the bank witnesses supply copies of the relevant bank account statements; account opening documents & signatory information.
LETTERS ROGATORY/FOREIGN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS—Schemes to hide large sums of money often involve parking money offshore in foreign bank accounts. This money may be transferred offshore by wire transfers; bulk cash smuggling; trade-based money laundering; employing portable valuable commodities like diamonds; etc. Since the foreign bank witnesses usually reside offshore/lack a nexus to the U.S., you can not compel them to supply bank account information by using a subpoena issued under U.S. laws. In many countries you can however, employ letters rogatory (a.k.a. letters of request or legal assistance requests). Letters rogatory are used to try to compel foreign bank witnesses to disclose bank account information. Besides letters rogatory, there may also be other legal remedies available to you under foreign laws.
PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS—A highly skilled investigator can sometimes be one of the reasons your asset search or asset recovery succeeds. Such an investigator will know how to relentlessly dig for information. One private investigator I know spent 17 years investigating an ultra-high net worth family suspected of concealing more than $100 million dollars in a financial fraud. A good investigator may also be able to sniff out informant’s tips concerning hidden assets, as suggested by my recent post “An Asset Search By Pursuing Interviews & Tips.” Finally, additional information about searching for bank account information is available at “5 Things To Be Aware Of When Hiring A PI For A Bank Account Search.”
First image: Spectrumblue/Shutterstock.com.
Copyright 2015 Fred L. Abrams