Latest from The Divorce Asset Hunter

One of the most frequently-asked questions new divorce-related clients ask us is: “If I need a forensic accountant can you do that?” The answer we give is that we are not forensic accountants, but you probably need us anyway because forensic accountants don’t do what we do. And, you may need a forensic accountant as well. Fact-finding and forensic accounting go together to give you a much better shot at finding assets than either function…
Nearly ten years on since the arrest of master Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, the Ponzi fraudsters are still with us. Maybe not with as much money as Madoff’s billions, but powerful enough to do a lot of damage. Being devoted to finding assets, this blog doesn’t usually talk about ways to lose them. But we have had asset searches in which we suspect money was lost in a Ponzi scheme. The schemer may have assets,…
Clients who hire us for asset searches always want to know what we find. As often as not, the big news after an asset search is when we don’t find something we should be seeing but are not. When someone is concealing the truth, they often put in place a lie to throw you off. One of the best ways to figure out if someone is lying is to ask yourself, “is this likely?” Remember…
Finding assets can be satisfying work, but frustration sometimes comes in realizing that a client’s lawyers haven’t been asking the right questions in their depositions. We have written repeatedly that getting bank account information without a court order is illegal (other than discovering it on a shared computer or in records lying around). When we are looking for assets before a lawsuit has been filed, getting at bank records is a long shot, and what…
Just as it’s nice to know what number someone is using when they call you, wouldn’t it be useful to see where someone was when they sent an email? That information is often contained in the “fine print” of an email known as the “header.” In brief, the header describes the route an email takes from sender to recipient, sometimes bouncing eight or ten times across the internet in the space of a second or…
We’ve written plenty about why it makes sense to do an onshore search within the U.S. when you’re looking for offshore assets. See for instance our Offshore Assets Playbook and here. What comes as news to many clients is how secretive people are allowed to be with their assets right here in the U.S. Sometimes we find that the distinction between accounts in an overseas tax haven and one in certain American jurisdictions is…
For women wondering whether their ex-husband (or soon-to-be ex) is hiding assets on them, rest assured that you are not alone. According to a new white paper put out by Francis Financial, a wealth-management firm that specializes in advising women, 63 percent of women the firm surveyed “felt strongly that their husband was hiding assets during the divorce process.” The firm says this was among the first such studies focusing on women who have…
It may all come crashing down, but if it doesn’t the cryptocurrency market is your newest headache in trying to find hidden assets. Long written off by many as a joke, cryptocurrencies are still dismissed by many as a bubble waiting to burst. Just the other day, the Wall Street Journal ran this piece arguing that Bitcoin (the largest and original cryptocurrency) is way overvalued. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was worth almost nothing for several…
It’s often the first idea people have when they want to know what their spouse is up to.: Surveillance. We are not usually in the business of following people around to prove infidelity, but will bring in experienced surveillance personnel in the case of high net worth asset searches. In most cases, the client decides against surveillance for these three reasons: It can be shockingly expensive, not least because you have to give it a…
In the past month, two divorcing clients contacted us and wanted asset searches performed without signing up us through their divorce lawyers. Here is the advice we gave them, as we give all our clients: “Sign us up through your lawyer. If your husband ever discovers that we are looking at him, he could subpoena our report.” The advantage of routing everything we report through your lawyer?  If your spouse ever discovers the existence of…