Blog
512-610-6199
8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway
Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759

Hidden Assets in a High Asset Divorce

Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer, Texas high asset divorce attorney, Earlier this year, the Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca, leaked more than 11 million confidential documents. Said to contain information on how some of the world's wealthiest people hide their assets, those documents gave insight to just how easy it is to swindle a spouse during high asset divorce proceedings. But, until now, the general public did not have access to the names or information they contained.

Taxes, Divorce, and Asset Hiding

Asset concealing is not just done in the name of divorce. Many who commit this act of fraud do so in order to avoid paying full taxes on their millions or billions. But the reason is irrelevant when the spouse is either in the dark about the assets or unable to prove they exist – and therein has been the problem for some of the highest profile divorces in history.

One prime example is the divorce of a Russian billionaire, who was accused of hiding millions from his estranged wife during their divorce. She and her attorneys reportedly spent years trying to chase those assets down, often finding only dead ends. In the end, they settled for an undisclosed amount.

Offshore Asset Hiding: How It Works and Why the Panama Papers Are Important

In offshore asset hiding, individuals create "shell companies" that look like legitimate businesses but are, in fact, a sneaky way to hide money. Most are developed offshore in places like the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, and Jersey and utilize the assistance of a nominal manager – an office cleaner, accountant, or other individual – who simply signs documents and allows their name to appear on letterhead so that the real owner can keep themselves (and their case) hidden.

The Panama Papers, originally leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and distributed to media outlets earlier this year, contain information on individuals who allegedly held accounts with Mossack Fonseca, who reportedly specializes in the development and maintenance of offshore accounts. More than 11 million documents were included in that leak. A portion of those documents have allegedly been uploaded to the internet in an online database that anyone can search through.

The database does not include information on bank accounts, specific financial transactions, or even the individual emails that were reportedly sent between the alleged clients and Mossack Fonseca. And the ICIJ retains that the presence or listing of a name does not necessarily prove wrongdoing. However, this information may aid divorcees who suspect asset hiding by giving them a sense of direction, or at least a sense of affirmation.

Suspect Asset Hiding? Need Help Dividing Property and Assets? Our Attorneys Can Help

At the Law Offices of William D. Powers, we are committed to protecting the financial futures and best interest of our clients. Skilled and experienced, we work hard to help resolve issues that often arise in high asset divorces, including those that involve asset hiding. If you are planning on filing for divorce and need assistance dividing or tracking down assets, contact our aggressive Georgetown high asset divorce attorneys and schedule an initial consultation. Call us at 512-610-6199 today.

Sources:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/panama-papers-uploaded-internet-massive-7932558

http://www.mirror.co.uk/all-about/panama-papers

https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160403-divorce-offshore-intrigue.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2015/10/20/the-saga-of-russian-billionaire-dmitry-rybolovlevs-4-5b-divorce-comes-to-an-end/#4f8ae8f44382

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759