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Ethics, Asset Searches & Private Investigators

As part of your asset searches, you or your lawyer may hire private investigators. These private investigators sometimes interview witnesses to find hidden assets. However, ethical rules apply to your lawyer when he/she employs private investigators for witness interviews. The applicable ethical rules can vary, depending on the state or jurisdiction a lawyer practices law…

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Divorce & Hidden Money: Asset Searches At Banks

I. STARTING ASSET SEARCHES AT BANKS Asset searches at banks raise the question: how do you search for bank accounts you are unaware of? One wife found a box in the basement. Her divorcing husband forgot to take it when he moved out.  This box had an offshore bank’s brochure and the husband’s application to…

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Divorce & Hidden Money: Your Spouse’s Secret Offshore Bank Accounts

This 38th post in the “Divorce & Hidden Money” series shows you how your divorcing spouse can open secret offshore bank accounts.  The post also talks about presenting evidence in court about the offshore bank accounts. I. FOUR STEPS FOR OPENING A SECRET OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNT Your divorcing spouse can open a secret offshore bank…

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Divorce & Hidden Money In Offshore Trusts

A) HOW MONEY IS HIDDEN IN OFFSHORE TRUSTS Your divorcing spouse may be hiding assets at an offshore trust. Your divorcing spouse may secretly transfer marital assets to the offshore trust.  The divorcing spouse could also make new purchases through the offshore trust. The trust could purchase: real property; jewelry; valuable automobiles; and almost anything…

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Asset Searches & Open Source Intelligence

I)  WEBSITES THAT CAN HELP YOUR ASSET SEARCHES This in my 12th post covering what private investigators can and can not legally do when conducting asset searches. One thing most private investigators do during asset searches is look for publicly available information a.k.a. Open Source Intelligence (“OSINT”). Websites that can help private investigators collect OSINT,…

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Divorce & Hidden Money: Ways To Hide Money & Commit Crimes

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: 26 U.S. Code § 7201 (tax fraud); 18 U.S. Code § 1341 (mail fraud);…

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Divorce & Hidden Money: Searching For A Spouse’s Beneficially Owned Assets

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 whose behalf a transaction is being conducted. It also includes those persons who exercise ultimate effective control over a legal person or arrangement. Glossary of the…

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During Your Asset Search Always Look For Nominees

A divorcing spouse; judgment creditor; bankruptcy creditor; or a beneficiary under a trust or will; may face an adversary hiding assets through nominees (i.e. intermediaries). See cf., Fourth Inv. LP v. United States, 720 F.3d 1058, 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) (six-part test for nominee ownership applied to tax lien case). An adversary can hide real estate, automobiles, jewelry; and offshore bank accounts […]

Divorce & Hidden Money: How Ultra-High-Net-Worth Spouses Can Launder Assets

The November 30th New York Times Magazine article “How To Hide $400 Million” described the divorce between Sarah Pursglove & Finnish internet tycoon Robert Oesterlund. A document from Mr. Oesterlund’s lender allegedly indicated Mr. Oesterlund’s net worth was $400 million, “How To Hide $400 Million” said. This article also said Mr. Oesterlund claimed during the divorce…

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Divorce & Hidden Money: Lawyer Disbarred For Concealing Marital Assets In Switzerland

Ohio lawyer David Keith Roland was recently disbarred for using a Swiss bank account in a scheme to help a divorcing wife hide marital assets from her divorcing husband. The divorcing wife in this alleged scheme was chiropractor Denise M. Carradine of Boardman, Ohio. Mr. Roland had represented Ms. Carradine in a divorce action commenced…

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