During your asset search gather tips from witnesses who not only know about your adversary’s assets but are also at odds with your adversary. If you are litigating against your adversary you might collect tips from these witnesses by deposing them. Additionally, you should consider hiring a private investigator to conduct witness interviews to sniff out tips concerning your adversary’s assets. A witness interview I attended alongside an investigator is described at my post: “An Asset Search By Pursuing Interviews & Tips.”
The public corruption case brought against former Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Christopher V. Ciccione, II (“Ciccione”), could show the importance of gathering tips when searching for assets. U.S. law enforcement officials collected a tip which led them to discover illicit assets or bribes given to Ciccione: about $20,000 in cash; a Rolex watch worth approximately $12,000; a hotel stay at the Marriott in Bogota, Colombia; a party; a dinner; liquor; & the services of prostitutes. The tip originated from governmental authorities in Colombia who had tapped phones & detected the apparent bribery scheme between Ciccione & Colombian narcotics kingpin Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos (“Piedrahita”). At his 11/30/17 Factual Basis For Plea, Ciccione admitted taking the bribe payments, except for the Rolex watch.
Ciccione admitted that while a Special Agent, he took the bribes to orchestrate the dismissal of Piedrahita’s drug trafficking indictment filed in federal court in Florida. Ciccione’s 11/30/17 Factual Basis For Plea Agreement explained Ciccione had improperly obtained official authorization for Piedrahita & Piedrahita’s family to enter into the U.S. It also said Ciccione leaked the names of 2 DEA confidential informants to Mr. Juan Carlos Velasco Cano, who was Piedrahita’s associate. On 9/21/17 Ciccione was indicted for his role in the alleged scheme & on 2/9/18 Ciccione was sentenced to serve 3 years in prison. Two more Asset Search Blog posts mentioning tips include “Mr. Benjamin’s Divorce & His White Collar Crimes” & “Warsaw Prosecutors Eye Possible Money Laundering At 50 Platowcowa Street.”
Image: Courtesy of U.S. Treasury’s Office Of Foreign Assets Control
Copyright 2018 Fred L. Abrams