ASSET TRACING

What is asset tracing? Asset tracing or asset tracking is a legal process of locating something of value to an individual or company that has been misappropriated. Asset tracing is closely related to fraud or theft where victims lost their assets due to unfortunate events such as scam, embezzlement or theft, and now they want to use this tool called asset tracing to initiate the asset recovery process.

Consider this case that actually took place in England when a business partner suddenly emptied the company business account and absconded abroad. The asset involved was over £1 million in cash. In this particular case, the process of asset tracing is locating and recovering the money that is vital to the survival of the company. When the director-turned-fraudster was tracked down, he claimed to be without money. When our asset tracing team got involved, we provided invaluable intelligence to the other directors pertaining to the followings, allowing them to consider the next steps.

  • What other assets the fraudster had?
  • What is the value of the asset?
  • What is the ownership structure?
  • In what jurisdiction(s) it is located?
  • How liquid is the asset?
  • What are the chances of a recovery?

Armed with the information, the other directors can now decide:

  • Whether to proceed with litigation or not.
  • What can they do to protect the assets in the meantime to ensure that it can be recovered?
  • What are the requirements for obtaining a freezing injunction even if the asset in question is outside of the jurisdiction?
  • What is the process to engage the opponent and encourage early settlement if necessary?

Divorce is another common scenario that leads to an asset trace investigation