In the ever-evolving landscape of legal battles, a concerning trend is on the rise – the concealment of assets. Clients facing divorce, probate, child support disputes, and other litigation scenarios are discovering that the opposing party is actively engaging in fraud by hiding assets. In this blog post, we’ll explore the emerging trends in hidden asset schemes and shed light on the methods being employed to deceive the system.
The Escalation of Asset Concealment
Over the past week, we’ve received numerous calls from clients grappling with deceptive tactics employed by adversaries. One of the fastest-growing types of fraud involves the concealment of assets, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent in family law cases, probate proceedings, divorce battles, child support disputes, and even litigation where judgments are at stake.
Common Methods of Asset Concealment
1. Divorce Cases:
In divorces, the standard practice is to equitably split assets between spouses. However, some individuals are preemptively siphoning money from joint accounts, reducing the total assets subject to division. This tactic allows one party to retain more than their fair share, creating an illusion of a financial windfall.
2. Probate Cases:
In cases of probate, heirs are finding that certain family members are unlawfully diverting assets, be it real estate, vehicles, or bank accounts. Common techniques include quick claim deeds to transfer property out of the deceased person’s name and placing funds in cryptocurrencies or trusts.
3. Legal Litigation:
Even in general litigation, where judgments are rendered against a party, the losing side may resort to hiding assets to evade rightful compensation. This often involves shifting assets into someone else’s name, such as a relative or a business entity, in an attempt to elude detection.
The Flawed Logic Behind Asset Hiding
The tactics employed by those attempting to conceal assets may seem ill-conceived, as many methods are easily discoverable. However, a key factor contributing to their success is the belief that nobody will bother looking for hidden assets. Some individuals, including scammers and their attorneys, count on the assumption that most people won’t conduct thorough asset searches.
The Role of Attorneys in Asset Hiding
Unfortunately, some attorneys may advise their clients to hide assets, downplaying the potential consequences. The prevailing perception that asset searches are rarely conducted further emboldens individuals to engage in fraudulent practices.
Strategies for Uncovering Hidden Assets
While we are not legal professionals, our experience in working with attorneys has exposed strategies employed by clients to uncover hidden assets. If you suspect foul play, consider the following steps:
- Document Everything: Keep meticulous records of financial transactions, account statements, and any suspicious activity.
- Consult with an Attorney: Seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you on the best course of action based on your specific situation.
- File a Motion: If evidence of asset concealment exists, your attorney may recommend filing a motion with the court to rectify the situation. This could involve penalties, fines, or additional discovery.
Navigating the Hidden Asset Minefield
As the prevalence of hidden asset schemes continues to rise, vigilance becomes paramount. Clients should be aware of the potential for asset concealment and work closely with legal professionals to expose and rectify such practices. The pursuit of justice often involves unmasking deceptive maneuvers and holding those responsible accountable for their actions.