Where Criminals Hide Money and Assets

If you’re watching a crime drama, you’ve probably seen the bad guy hiding money. He may stash his illicit profits in a secret offshore bank account or under the mattress. But in real life, hiding money can be a lot more complicated. Where do people hide money and other assets?

Here are some common ways that money and assets are hidden:

  1. Offshore bank accounts: While offshore bank accounts are not necessarily illegal, they can be used to evade taxes and launder money. Criminals may open accounts in countries with strict bank secrecy laws, making it difficult for authorities to track the money.
  2. Real estate: People may invest in real estate. They may buy properties outright or use shell companies to obscure property ownership. This can be a particularly effective way to hide money. Real estate transactions are often conducted in cash, and the value of a property can appreciate over time.
  3. Businesses: Individuals may use legitimate businesses as a front to launder money. They may overstate expenses or understate income to “clean” their money through the business. This can be particularly difficult to detect, as the business may appear to operate normally.
  4. Precious metals: Some people may invest in precious metals, such as gold or silver, to store value. Precious metals are portable and quickly converted into cash, making them a convenient way to hide and move money.
  5. Cryptocurrencies: Criminals have increasingly been using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to hide their money. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not regulated by any government, making it difficult for authorities to track transactions.
  6. Art and collectibles: Similar to real estate and precious metals, criminals may invest in art or other collectibles to store value. These items can be challenging to trace and can be quickly sold, making them a popular way to hide money.
  7. Gifts: Criminals may give their illicit profits to friends or family members as gifts, making it difficult for authorities to track the money.

Hiding Assets may be Closer to Home – Other Instances Where Money is Hidden

Although the circumstances are similar, we have noted other instances when a party attempts to hide assets from another party. For example, in a pending divorce case, a spouse may attempt to move assets away from the marital estate or create other entities to direct money. Similarly, some businesses try to escape liabilities or move money/assets away from other shareholders.

Every Situation is Different

While these are common ways individuals attempt to hide their money, it’s important to note that every situation differs. In addition, as technology changes, so do the tools and methodologies for hiding assets. It can be challenging for authorities to track down and seize criminal assets, as criminals often use complex methods to obscure the ownership of their money.

If you want more information or wish to discuss concerns with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a confidential free consultation.


By | 2023-03-06T07:54:34+00:00 March 6th, 2023|Blog, Divorce, Fraud|

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