How does a divorcing spouse hide assets at trusts? The spouse hiding assets first forms a trust. Next, this spouse fraudulently transfers assets part of the marital estate, to the trust. The spouse hiding assets can also take money from the marital estate & use it to make purchases in the name of the trust.  Finally, the spouse hiding assets claims assets at the trust can not be distributed during the divorce because the trust assets are not part of the marital estate. Therefore, the spouse hiding assets at a trust makes an asset search or asset recovery more difficult.

I) Trusts In High-Profile Divorces

During high-profile divorces, one spouse sometimes alleges the other hid assets at trusts. Examples of this include Helga Glock’s divorce from billionaire gun maker Gaston Glock and Tatiana Akhmedova’s divorce from Russian energy billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov. The high-profile Texas divorce of billionaire Ed Bosarge Jr. from Marie Bosarge, similarly involves trusts. In their divorce, Marie Bosarge claims Ed Bosarge Jr. is hiding marital assets at trusts formed in South Dakota.

The video below about the Bosarge divorce, is from private investigator Wayne Dolcefino &/or Dolcefino Consulting. Mr. Dolcefino apparently investigated Ed Bosarge Jr. on behalf of Marie Bosarge. The video says Ed Bosarge Jr. is “now accused of secretly moving more than $2 billion worth of stuff…into a secretive South Dakota trust to leave Marie Bosarge penniless.”  Meanwhile, Ed Bosarge Jr. is worth an estimated $3.2 billion as reported at Houston Billionaire’s Bitter Divorce Draws International Attention With a Russian Mistress and Coronavirus Part of the Tangled Web.

II) Recovering Assets Concealed At Trusts

Whether a spouse has a right to recover assets at a trust ordinarily depends on the law where the assets are located. In some cases, a spouse might be able to recover assets at a trust by proving in court:

  1. assets were fraudulently transferred from the marital estate;
  2. the trust is void because it was self-settled (i.e. the grantor and beneficiary are the same);
  3. and the “trust veil” should be pierced because marital property was fraudulently transferred to the trust or the trust wrongfully concealed assets. See e.g. Babitt v. Vebeliunas (In re Vebeliunas), 332 F.3d 85, 91 (2d Cir. 2003) (discussing New York cases where right to pierce trust veil was preserved).

Video: Courtesy of Dolcefino Consulitng

Copyright 2020 Fred L. Abrams