Experienced investigators know the importance of the adage “follow the money” – particularly when conducting asset searches. IGI has worked for decades globally and domestically to identify, trace, and help attach and recover assets.
Clients in these types of cases have included sovereign entities seeking to follow funds stolen by corrupt government officials; defrauded investors and businesses trying to recoup embezzled sums; and creditors and lenders pursuing parties who have defaulted on debts.
Some clients come to us with a legal judgment in hand for money damages to be collected, while others may hire us to to survey and evaluate adverse parties’ potentially recoverable assets and the likelihood of collecting a judgment, in order to determine whether devoting additional resources to efforts to litigate and collect would be worthwhile.
Money is easy to move, spend, and hide, and some financial data is protected by stringent privacy laws, so asset searches are rarely as simple as finding a bank or brokerage account. Instead, these cases typically require IGI to collect and analyze evidence of complex (and often international) business relationships and transactions. For example, we may collect information to demonstrate that a subjects’s asset sales or inter-company transactions in advance of a bankruptcy were fraudulent conveyances, or that a subject has concealed assets from a bankruptcy trustee. We can help build a case to pierce the corporate veil, so that a corporation’s owners, members, and shareholders can be held personally liable for business debts. And we may develop information to challenge the legitimacy of asset transfers a subject has made in a bid to become “judgment proof.” We also seek to identify income streams from contracts, accounts receivable, royalties, and other sources.
In some cases, we conduct surveillance to observe a subject’s lifestyle and collect information on assets and habits – for example, yachts, luxury automobiles, and heavy spending. Where public records are scant, we can identify and conduct discreet interviews of potentially knowledgeable sources.
We work closely with clients in these engagements to scale our efforts so that our work and costs are commensurate with realistically assessed prospects of a financial recovery.
- IGI was retained by counsel to the estate of an iconic rock star to assist it in litigation against former managers who had misappropriated royalty monies and other assets over a 25-year period. The litigation related to the managers’ business activities in the U.S., Europe and in overseas tax havens. Employing staff and resources on three continents, IGI’s investigation helped lead to the recovery of stolen assets and supported successful litigation for restoration of music rights and royalty income streams to the late artist’s surviving family members.