The partner you have been in business with and trusted for years has taken the company’s assets and disappeared. Once you get over the initial shock, it becomes time to locate the person and the assets. You might not be able to do this on your own especially if the person did not leave much of a trail. It is time to hire a private investigator who is experienced in this field and knows where to look and the questions to ask.
While, in the business sense, asset recovery means the disposing of waste, obsolete, or surplus material or products to receive the maximum possible profit, this is not always the case. Asset recovery can also mean the recovery of stolen items whether from a business or an individual. Besides stolen items, asset recovery can also mean discovery of information relating to litigation or divorce as well as leverage during negotiations.
A Private Investigator (P.I.) can be employed to obtain this information. According to Houston private investigator, Tim Wilson, it is important to hire a private detective quickly, as missing or stolen property can disappear quickly. It can be sold online or overseas, jewelry can be melted down, many things can happen to prevent it from being traced.
Although private investigators have no additional legal authority for accessing financial or other private information, there are other legal means for obtaining pertinent information relating to assets.
Even though some means of locating information may seem a little odd like dumpster diving, you still need to make sure that you hire a licensed private investigator who is insured and bonded before hiring. Also, you should have a contract which states what you expect from the P.I. and what the P.I. will do for you. Once all terms are agreed to, the investigator can get to work locating any and all asset information.
Some assets are difficult to locate especially if they are hidden under a mattress or used to purchase other assets. Although people hiding stolen assets may have creative ways, P.I.s also have creative ways of locating said assets.
One of the first places a private investigator would begin the search is in court records, especially if the assets are related to a business or an estate. If these documents reveal nothing or little, then there are other legal options available. Interviews are an excellent starting point. The P.I. would talk with neighbors, business associates and even people who may have had been involved in litigation with said person.
When analyzing the information gathered, the P.I. may think the party in question has set up corporations in the name of family members. Having various names the P.I. can search all of the names in corporate databases. Unfortunately, some people will park stolen assets in overseas banks where they cannot be legally searched for.
After the interviews and record searching, it may be time for surveillance. The private investigator will follow the person to see the daily pattern – where does the person go, restaurants, people met, offices and banks visited, etc. In other words, what does the person do each day for several days. The P.I. may be able to use this additional information to piece together more of the puzzle.
In many areas “dumpster diving” or digging in the trash is legal. Once the trash is placed near the road for pick up, it is available for picking. This may be a legitimate way to locate financial information – bank statements, various invoices, property tax information, and many other financial records. Yes, it can get messy, but a good P.I. will realize the value of the mess.
Once the P.I. has gathered all information, a report will be given to you. It will then be up to you as to the direction you take. Do you take the information to authorities for criminal action, do you file a lawsuit, or do you negotiate with the person? These are your decisions.
What an experienced P.I. will do for you is gather the information through legal channels. By using the services of a knowledgeable private investigator, you will have a better chance of regaining control of your assets.