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Have you or your company recently become a victim of fraud or asset theft? If that’s the case, you may be searching for ways to track down the money and track down both the missing funds and the people responsible. Misappropriation of large sums of money and assets is on the increase at an unprecedented rate. Because of the high capital and revenue expenditures, as well as the growing enforcement requirements, it is critical to keep accurate records of Fixed Assets/Inventory and to ensure that such Fixed/Revenue assets remain.
Trying to recover any assets that have been stolen is an important part of knowing the impact that corruption, bribery, or fraud has had on your company. You need a proactive approach in tracing and recovering these assets or seek the help of subject matter experts.
Asset tracing as the word suggests is a legal way of locating, identifying, and freezing stolen assets belonging to an individual or a company. It is closely related to fraud or theft where individuals or companies lose their assets due to unfortunate events such as scams, embezzlement, or theft, and now they want to use this tool to trace the full series of transactions that take an asset from its origin through to its destination.
This comes across as a useful exercise when it comes to submitting relevant applications to the court and can help provide the evidence to substantiate any claim that you make.
Assets are the valuables owned by a business or an individual. These can be anything from real estate, stocks, shares, possessions, undeclared bank accounts, intellectual property rights, company assets (e.g., property, plant, and equipment, vehicles, livestock, yachts and, of course, money). If you’re in the UK, you need to first check if the assets exist and can be traced. Otherwise, you will be bearing heavy legal fees and unnecessary litigation costs. Asset tracing is simply the tracing and identification of the property or valuables that clients want to recover through the courts or by negotiated settlement.
The asset tracking process is a series of complex protocols that require professional backing. To identify and procure stolen assets it takes skill, judgment and legal intelligence on the part of the legal professional dealing with the matter. The procedure is divided into three distinct phases: pre-investigation, judicial, and recovery.
This falls in the pre-investigation phase when the asset trace is instructed. This phase comprises gathering all possible information on the target potential assets, like their value, location, and their registered ownership status. The process shifts to the Investigative phase after the properties have been found in the Pre-Investigation phase.
The Judicial phase comprises trial and subsequent issuance of a judgment against the individuals listed in the Investigation process. To recover the assets from the jurisdiction where they were discovered, the judicial authorities of the requesting jurisdiction must work closely with their counterparts to ensure that the proper steps are taken.
If the properties and their provenance have been found, it’s time to protect and restrict them to prevent them from being dissipated, removed, or, in some cases, destroyed.
To secure the seizure of the identified assets, the instructing client, which is often a law firm, must obtain judicial authorization. A temporary injunction blocks a party’s properties until the Court’s further order or final resolution.
To secure the seizure of the identified assets, the instructing client, which is often law firm, must obtain judicial authorization, such as a Mareva injunction, a temporary injunction blocks a party’s properties until the court’s further order or final resolution.
During the pendency of a suit, the so-called Mareva injunction, established by English courts, forbids a defendant from moving assets outside of the United Kingdom or otherwise interfering with their assets (other than in the ordinary course of business and for the payment of proper expenses).
Mareva injunctions were initially limited to properties within the United Kingdom, but they have since been expanded to include assets in many other jurisdictions, including offshore tax “havens.”
And finally, the recovery phase is where the asset is returned to the rightful owner. When a court orders the arrest, confiscation, or restriction of properties, action must be taken to execute the order. A request must also be made if properties are found in a foreign jurisdiction.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, calculating the damage, finding the offenders, and devising a recovery plan are all critical. Criminals can now move money around the world and hide behind complicated offshore corporate structures thanks to technological advancements.
Shergroup understands the difference between intelligence and evidence required for use in a Court of Law. We have extensive knowledge of the legal system, enforcement regimes and cultural practices within the jurisdictions that we most commonly operate. Having conducted extensive multi-jurisdictional and cross border complex investigations, we are experts at assisting with commercial and high-end litigation.
We deliver reliable and actionable intelligence for lawyers, financial firms, corporate clients, third party funders and HNW individuals worldwide. We operate internationally and have exceptional capabilities in the UK and other offshore banking jurisdictions in Europe. So, if you want to consult us for tracing your assets, you can write to us at [email protected]. Once we know your exact requirements we can take it up from there.
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Last updated | 19 July 2023
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