Asset Search/Fraud Investigation

One of the worst child support cases I know about is Janet O. v. James O., slip op. 51985 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County, October 17, 2006). The ex-husband in Janet O had not made any child or spousal maintenance support payments for 30 years. By moving from New York and living offshore in

This 42nd post in my Divorce & Hidden Money series mentions a divorcing wife, (Person “A”), believed to have hidden her ownership of a farm equipment company (Company “A”). This post is also about Mr. Dusko Bruer of Palm Beach County, Florida who had supposedly gifted Company “A” to Person “A”. Meanwhile, in USA v. Bruer prosecutors filed their January 30, 2020 criminal information accusing Mr. Bruer of hiding money from the IRS in secret offshore bank accounts and otherwise.

I)  PERSON “A” HID COMPANY “A” DURING HER DIVORCE

Mr. Bruer employed Person “A” as his personal assistant and as a bookkeeper for Company “A”. To possibly hide assets from the IRS, Mr. Bruer gifted his Company “A” to Person “A” in or about September 2009. At that time, Person “A” was embroiled in a contentious divorce case. During the divorce, Person “A” hid her supposed ownership of Company “A” from her husband. Person “A” did this by using her relative, (Person “B”), as the straw owner of Company “A”. At corporate records for Company “A,” Person “A” &/or Person “B” indicated Person “B” was the owner. However, Person “B” lacked the authority to run daily operations at Company “A”; and Person “A” and/or Mr. Bruer are believed to have been the true beneficial owner[s] of Company “A.”

II) MR. BRUER CONCEALED ASSETS/INCOME FROM THE IRS

Although Mr. Bruer purported to gift Company “A” to Person “A” in or about September 2009, Mr. Bruer apparently retained control over bank accounts belonging to Company “A”. After 2009, Mr. Bruer reportedly used these bank accounts:

  • to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for his personal expenses, make investments offshore, and transfer money to his relatives and an employee;
  • in or about 2010 to purchase a 54-foot yacht called “Hawk’s Nest” for $235,000;
  • between 2010 to 2014 to pay about $135,000 for the service; registration; and docking of Hawk’s Nest and another yacht;
  • between 2012 and 2013 to pay a relative’s condo fees in NYC amounting to about $21,000;
  • between 2011 and 2014 to transfer approximately $540,000 to another company Mr. Bruer owned.


Continue Reading Divorce & Hidden Money: A Farm Equipment Company & Tax Fraud

Today’s post shows how Mr. Farkhad Akhmedov may have hidden money from his now ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova. It describes how Mr. Akhmedov could have placed money out of Ms. Akhmedova’s reach by: using nominees (i.e. intermediaries) ; parking assets offshore; transferring assets to a Bermudian trust & Liechtenstein entities. This post is the 41st post

“Better Call Saul” & “Breaking Bad” remind us to look during asset searches for lawyers hiding money. In these fictional cable TV series, criminal defense lawyer Saul Goodman laundered money for meth maker Walter White & his co-conspirator Jesse Pinkman. At Breaking Bad’s Season 3, Episode 11 for example, Saul Goodman recommended washing illicit

Money laundering by rigging courtsOne money laundering method involves hiding money by rigging court cases.¹ A plaintiff sues a defendant over a supposed breach of contract. Meanwhile, nobody knows the defendant is the plaintiff’s strawperson and the two have rigged the court case. When the plaintiff wins the bogus breach of contract case, the Court issues a money judgment

(This chart identifies alleged members and suspected businesses of the drug trafficking organization discussed at the press release available by clicking here.)

Make flowcharts in your asset search to show how your adversary has hidden money or other assets from you. The flowcharts in your asset search might document that

This 40th post in my Divorce & Hidden Money series mentions Mr. Vardan Keshishyan, who reportedly hid money from his divorcing wife by smurfing (a.k.a structuring ).  In the context of money laundering, a smurf makes cash deposits below a bank’s threshold for reporting cash deposits to the government. By doing this the smurf

Last Tuesday Senator Warren released her plan to track hidden money & fight corruption. Money launderers, tax dodgers, narco-traffickers; terrorist financiers and other fraudsters can easily establish shell companies without disclosing who actually owns the shell companies. They open bank accounts and maintain the bank accounts in the names of the shell companies,

An asset search for stock share certificates begins with looking for red flags.  These red flags are listed at the July 2019 paper “FIU Tools and Practices for Investigating Laundering of The Proceeds of Corruption.”  As page 19 paragraph 29 of the paper says, you should look for:

[R]eceiv[ing] or purchas[ing] shares