Those who go through a divorce may have concerns the other party will attempt to hide assets. Although it sounds like a plot out of a Lifetime movie, such attempts are not uncommon. People can attempt to hide assets with third-parties or with use of false documents. A recent case provides a real-life example.
Case in point: Professor tries to hide retirement assets
This case involves a professor of engineering that attempted to hide his retirement funds from his wife during their divorce. He used his experience to tamper with retirement documents, changing the documents to state the retirement account held $745,012 when the account actually held almost $900,000.
The case went to litigation. At trial, the jury convicted the man of theft and aggravated forgery for his attempt to hide over $100,000 in assets from his wife during the divorce. The judge was asked to impose a three-and-a-half-year sentence since these crimes were committed over a long period of time. Ultimately, the judge sentenced the man to a four-month prison sentence, four years of probation and a $30,000 fine.
Lesson learned: Vigilance important during divorce
The woman in the case above new the numbers did not add up. Instead of moving along and finalizing the divorce she encouraged her divorce team to look deeper. This is an important lesson for anyone going through a divorce. It is important to account for all the assets in order to better ensure a fair split. An attorney experienced in finding hidden assets during divorce can help.