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
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.
The N.Y. State Attorney General has pursued an asset search of the Sackler family, Purdue Pharma and business entities related to them. The N.Y. State Attorney General tried to do this through its lawsuit in Suffolk County N.Y. against the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma. At court filings in the Suffolk County case, the N.Y.
According to The Financial Action Task Force anti-money laundering group:
Beneficial owner refers to the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a customer and/or the natural person on
To cheat you out of your fair share, your divorcing spouse, a business partner, an executor handling a decedent’s estate or someone else may hide assets from you. As a result of an asset search or other investigation you might uncover a money trail for these hidden assets.
If you follow the money trail &…
When fraudulent transfers are used to hide assets the subject of a debt collection, divorce, or bankruptcy case, the Court looks for badges of fraud. As explained in Wall Street Associates v. Brodsky, 257 A.D.2d 526, 529 (1st Dept 1999), the badges of fraud for fraudulent asset transfers or conveyances are:
- A Close Relationship