When naming offshore havens for opening secret bank accounts, people usually mention Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, etc. Meanwhile, bank accounts in almost any country can be put to work to hide & place assets out of reach. “Using Multiple Jurisdictions To Launder Money” discussed a suspected scheme to bribe judges in Italy. According to prosecutors, illicit proceeds from this offshore scheme were hidden in bank accounts located in the U.S. & elsewhere. “Money Laundering, Marital Assets & Divorce” outlines another scheme which relied on cross-border elements to conceal assets. The scheme involved a divorcing spouse in the U.S. who hid undeclared revenue in a Swiss bank & then “washed” it through a bank in Germany.¹
As the above essentially suggests, tracking assets offshore can become a critically important part of your asset search. How do you search for assets hidden offshore? One way is by employing legal tools. The following article discusses the tools federal prosecutors may use to collect evidence from witnesses residing offshore.² Two of the tools the article mentions are compelled consent forms & letters rogatory. These two tools are not just for use by prosecutors. They are sometimes used by divorcing spouses, judgment creditors & others searching for offshore bank accounts/assets hidden offshore:
¹The fact pattern supplied at “Money Laundering, Marital Assets & Divorce,” has been changed & sanitized for privacy reasons.
²“Obtaining Foreign Evidence Outside of The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Process,” U.S. Attorneys’ Bulletin March 2007, is supplied courtesy of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.
Image of offshore banking & tax haven concept: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com
Copyright 2016 Fred L. Abrams