Determined criminals hiding assets typically wash assets by using money laundering methods. Laundering methods include: commingling funds; opening secret offshore bank accounts; hoarding & smuggling cash; titling assets in the name of nominees; etc. The Asia/Pacific Group On Money Laundering lists these and other key money laundering methods at its typologies webpage.

The

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

In USA v Dan Horsky prosecutors claimed Mr. Horsky had hidden money in Zurich, Switzerland at Credit Suisse and at other offshore banks. The gravamen of the allegations at Mr. Horsky’s criminal complaint was that Mr. Horsky concealed $200 million from the IRS in a tax fraud scheme. Two years ago Mr. Horsky was

HIDDEN MONEY & CRIMES

When one spouse uses different ways to hide money from the other spouse, criminal laws are sometimes violated. The spouse who has hidden money because of a divorce could conceivably commit one or more of these crimes:

  1. 26 U.S. Code § 7201 (tax fraud);
  2. 18 U.S. Code § 1341 (mail

On October 8th & 9th in Abuja, Nigeria I will lecture about asset recovery & tracking assets.  I will present 2 lectures to law enforcement agents who work in West Africa. The lectures are called “Whistleblowers, Secret Bank Accounts & Recovering Hidden Assets” & “Asset Recovery Case Studies & Discussion.” I am presenting the lectures

An Asset Search For Tax FraudA scheme to hide assets may start out with the primary goal of placing assets beyond your reach. The scheme may then develop the secondary goal of hiding assets from tax authorities/committing a tax fraud. To increase your chances of a successful asset search, you should therefore look for indicators of tax fraud. A good

Searching for an adversary’s hidden assets can be like tracking a shell-game-operator.  In USA v. Khalili for instance, Mr. Dan Farhad Khalili was accused of hiding assets & undeclared revenue from the IRS for 15 years at 5 offshore banks. The offshore banks were located in Switzerland & Israel. Although on 4/27/11 Mr. Khalili applied

In the criminal case against Robert Bandfield, the IRS & SEC searched for assets laundered offshore. These assets were the proceeds of stock pump & dump schemes.  The illicit proceeds of the pump & dump schemes were more than $250 million. The $250 million was believed to be hidden by money laundering carried out by

Like the IRS & SEC you can sometimes search for assets by using whistleblower tips, my October 3rd program explains.

A) PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

At the New York County Lawyers’ Association on October 3, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, I will be the program chair of “Whistleblowers, Secret Swiss Bank Accounts & Recovering Hidden Assets.” Attendee registration is available at the website available here or by calling the New York County Lawyers’ Association at (212) 267-6646. During the October 3rd program, I highlight the use of whistleblower tips to recover hidden assets.  I show how to search for assets which can be hidden by high net worth divorcing spouses; corporations; Ponzi schemers; tax fraudsters; etc.  I talk about tools you can use to recover assets hidden in Switzerland and other places across the globe. The October 3rd program also focuses on the Internal Revenue Service & Securities Exchange Commission whistleblower programs which can provide qualifying tipsters with the largest payouts compared to any other reward programs in the world.

Jack BlumWashington, D.C. attorney Jack Blum is well-known internationally for his representation of whistleblowers. In addition to others he has represented,  Mr. Blum will talk about Mr. Hervé Falciani, the whistleblower the media dubbed “the [Edward] Snowden of Swiss banking.”  Mr. Falciani allegedly stole Swiss bank account information from HSBC in Geneva and as a whistleblower turned the information over to French authorities. This alleged HSBC bank account information eventually fell into the hands of the International Consortium Of Investigative Journalists, which published part of it at their webpages known as the Swiss Leaks project.  Furthermore, Mr. Blum appeared on the CBS/60 Minutes television show to discuss the foregoing.  He will similarly discuss these matters at the October 3rd program and analyze: the IRS whistleblower program; problems whistleblowers face in the real world; and the difficulty lawyers may encounter in dealing with whistleblowers either as clients or tipsters.

ThomasLabaton & Sucharow partner Jordan A. Thomas will also speak at the October 3rd program.  Mr. Thomas will discuss the Securities Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program, as he is one of the world’s leading experts on it. He will review the advantages and disadvantages of the different whistleblower programs; and the ethical concerns gatekeepers like attorneys, accountants, officers and directors have, in reporting illegal behavior in both the civil and criminal contexts.  As more fully set forth below, Mr. Thomas: is a former assistant director in the Commission’s Enforcement Division; had a leadership role in developing the Commission’s whistleblower program; and was assigned to many of the Commission’s highest-profile matters such as those involving Enron, Fannie Mae, UBS & Citigroup.

Photo Charles Bott

Charles Bott QC, Head of Carmelite Chambers in the United Kingdom, is a recognized authority on financial crime and its regulation.  Subject to his availability, Mr. Bott may travel to New York to speak at the October 3rd program. He has appeared in more than 80 serious fraud trials including some of the leading cases of recent years and advised many other clients under investigation.  Mr. Bott specializes in cases of serious fraud, money laundering and revenue evasion; and in the United Kingdom, he is regularly instructed in serious criminal cases and regulatory cases of all kinds.


Continue Reading Whistleblowers, Secret Swiss Bank Accounts & Recovering Hidden Assets