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PROBLEM: The debtor decides that instead of investing in stocks and bonds, he’s going to put his money into gold, and then takes pains to hide this investment from creditors. [light] SOLUTION: Gold investments come in various forms, including gold certificates issued in the U.S. by gold pool programs, gold futures, gold miner exchange traded funds (ETF), and gold bars and coins. Some of these investments will appear in the debtor’s tax records. For instance,…
PROBLEM: In some cases, debtors have time to prepare for an asset search. For example, they might decide to decrease the amount of cash they have on hand by investing in antiques. The antiques remain hidden so as not to arouse suspicion. After the case is settled, the antiques are sold, most likely at a profit. [light] SOLUTION: It is difficult to track down personal property that doesn’t require licensing or title registration, like cars,…
Well, another day, another email hacking story. This one involves the Bush clan, with reports that a hacker who goes by the name Guccifer accessed private emails and photographs, telephone numbers and addresses sent between members of the Bush family, including both former presidents. Among the data released are catty emails about Bill Clinton, photographs of the ailing senior Bush in the hospital, and a security code to one of the Bush homes. The Secret…
Over the past few days we’ve dealt with two cases where our clients were deeply invested in the question of whether or not the contents of sealed court documents could be made public. And our answer to both of them was the same: If someone knows about the documents, some of the information might be obtainable. In the first instance, we were engaged to complete a thorough background check on a potential business associate. Over…
We have written here and here about the dangers of not having more sophisticated or complex passwords for technical devices and online accounts. We are also strong proponents of fighting hackers with encryption. None of this should come as a surprise to knowledgeable online users. Yet, as the press enjoys pointing out,  sometimes even self-professed tech geeks rely on easy-to-crack passwords, use the same passwords for multiple accounts or never bother to update…
Among the pros (and cons) of having a cell phone is that you don’t have to stay chained to your desk anymore. Now you can do business anywhere you have phone coverage. But sometimes we are so consumed by the convenience of being able to conduct business on the go, that we forget the risks. For instance, in the past two weeks, we’ve sat in on a lengthy meeting between a high-ranking cable television executive…
By now the General David Petraeus debacle has been all over the news.  We certainly don’t need to go over all the sordid details. Nor do we need to go over all the Internet security tips the case has made front page news. A summary of the greatest tips should suffice:   Big brother may indeed be watching. And according to  Google’s latest Transparency Report, the government may be watching you via Google far…
On Election Day, it’s useful to remember that Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s famous assertion that “All politics is local” can apply to investigations as well.  When we’re tasked with a public records search, our clients expect that we’ll review federal and state government records.  What they may not realize, though, is that an exhaustive public records search also requires digging through local public records, which may be a treasure trove of offline information…
Unbeknownst to most cell phone users, just turning your cell phone on reveals your location. That’s because once turned on, your cell phone constantly “pings” (bounces a signal off of) nearby cell phone network towers. This data is collected by the cell phone company and can be traced to reveal your location. Short of turning your cell phone off and maybe even pulling out its battery, there’s nothing you can do about this: This is…
Attorneys know that one of their primary obligations to their clients is to protect client confidences.  Therefore, great pains are taken to make sure that clients’ highly personal information stays in safe hands. But what happens when attorneys are the ones passing along their personal information? Well, unfortunately lawyers are far less careful with their own confidential information than they are with their clients’. For example, we recently attended a legal conference where a legal…