Debtors hiding assets create immediate loss for people who have a right to be paid or reimbursed. If you are a judgment creditor, or a victim of a fraudulent investment, finding the assets which are rightfully yours turns the asset into cash that should be in your pocket not the scammer.
Asset concealment normally takes one of 5 forms:
- Hidden bank accounts
- Vehicles titled in another name
- Real estate quit claim deeds
- Pre-paid taxes or fees
- Alternate accounts
No matter how good the scammer believes their system of hiding assets, there is always a paper trail for the source of the funds, or a record of maintaining the asset. Even high level narcotics traffickers who spend millions hiding their money leave a trail for seizure.
The amateur trickster trying to hide $50,000 in a divorce, or the business partner concealing $200,000, or even the online scammer who stole $8,000 is not going to cover all of their tracks.
The ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) has an excellent resource for investigators and corporate officers looking to discover assets rightfully belonging to them. The PDF document (read here) is excellent instruction for any asset searcher.