Caught out by their own kids

I was amused to read that many people trying to conceal their assets are being betrayed inadvertently by their own children.  The Telegraph reports:

Leading cybersecurity firms say they now use social media posts as evidence in around 75 per cent of all litigation cases.

. . .

In one debt recovery case where a man claimed to have no items of significant value, one of his children gave the game away by posing on the family’s £12 million super-yacht in the Bahamas.

Daniel Hall … recently seized a “newly acquired private jet” in a fraud case because one of the two fraudsters had a son in his 30s who posted a photograph on Instagram of himself and his father standing in front of the plane.

“That’s the kind of jackpot scenario one hopes for,” said Mr Hall.

And even those who should be well aware of dangers of social media are still not getting the message. In March, the rapper 50 Cent was ordered by a US court to explain how he had posed with stacks of $100 bills which spelled out the word ‘broke’ after filing for bankruptcy. He claimed the money was fake.

Hall, a former lawyer turned corporate investigator, said the meta-data in social media posts could even be used to locate people or find out where proxy companies were located.

“You can start building up a profile of that individual: where they are; what their interests are; who are they regularly in touch with?” he said.

. . .

Andrew Beckett, managing director of cybersecurity and investigations at Kroll, said the firm uncovered multimillion-pound hidden assets in a divorce case last year where a husband had claimed he was virtually penniless.

They found the hidden money and assets by monitoring the location of his children’s social media posts.

“We monitored social media, particularly for his children, who were in their 20s, and found a lot of posts from the same geo-tagged sites,” said Mr Beckett.

“Cross-referencing that with land registry and other similar bodies overseas, we found half a dozen properties that were registered in the name of this person.

“We were able to go to the court with a list of assets that we conservatively estimated at $60m, which the court then seized until he settled the amount that had been ordered.”

There’s more at the link.

I know an old idiom claims that ‘Cheaters never prosper‘, but in my experience a lot of cheaters do prosper.  It’s comforting to know that they can still be caught out in this way.  I suppose their kids are doing themselves out an inheritance in the process, though, so they’re being punished too!



  1. "In March, the rapper 50 Cent was ordered by a US court to explain how he had posed with stacks of $100 bills which spelled out the word ‘broke’ after filing for bankruptcy. He claimed the money was fake."

    I never heard of this douchebag being arrested by the Secret Service and you would think that is the cash was bogus then he should have been at least investigated for counterfeiting. I would bet he would have changed his tune to it having been real had the SS started an investigation.

    1. Fake doesn't equal counterfeit. It just needed to look realistic enough for the photograph. If prop cash that looked *almost* identical (indistinguishable onscreen) to "real" dollars was the same as counterfeit cash, Hollywood would be in deep sh*t with the Secret Service, heh. That said, 50 cent *is* a massive douche, no question. God bless! 🙂

  2. Talked to one of the top forensic accountants in the US. He stated that there's trillions of assets off shore and in shell companies hidden from former business partners, spouses and the tax man.

    1. Archived link (because you know they're going to edit the article to scrub the libelous content):*/ my favorite part? Where (in itty bitty font) they say "there are legitimate uses for offshore companies, and we do not intend to suggest or imply that any individuals or entities included in the interactive were in violation of the law"
      then (in the text of the article itself) say: "There is much more in the full set of releases covered in the ICIJ's website, however we wonder what if any action will be taken against any of these criminals who also happen to be some of the world's wealthiest people and most powerful politicians: after all, it is they who make the rules."

      It's rather amusing isn't it? They cover their asses in the fine print of their handy dandy "target list" (my term) but fail to catch the blatant contradiction in the article itself. I suppose one could lawyer it by saying they never stated *explicitly* that they meant *everyone* in the papers was a criminal…but they'd be full of it. That might work though, I suppose. Still funny, either way. Damn though, who wants to bet *somebody* ends up/has already ended up dead as a result of this…thing? I pray not, but I mean…the odds aren't good are they?

  3. Prop currency: a.) either less than 75% or more than 150% the size of a real bill, b.) one-sided, and c.) made with only one color (so as to discourage the reproduction of identifying factors).

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