Asset and Financial Investigation

Asset and financial investigation focuses on finding assets hidden by individuals or corporations. Often, such assets have been moved through complex corporate, trust, and nominee structures, as well as through multiple jurisdictions.


Private detective agencies conduct such investigations for clients seeking to fulfil due diligence requirements, settling personal injury cases and collecting debts. TIN investigates the value of undisclosed assets.

Hidden Assets

Hidden assets are values that are understated or even missing from a business’s balance sheet. They are typically a result of an organization hiding its own wealth, or the conversion of cash into property that is either difficult to discover or perceived not to have significant value. Hidden assets are often found in businesses that have a reputation for being unethical or illegal, but they can also be discovered in more legitimate transactions such as investing in real estate or transferring intellectual property ownership.

Some businesses hide assets in order to avoid paying taxes or avoiding financial liabilities, such as lawsuits or bankruptcy. Others may do so in order to protect themselves from heirs, creditors or other parties involved in legal proceedings. One common scenario is a divorce, where one party might try to hide assets from the other in order to save them.

There are a few ways to discover hidden assets, including conducting regular inventory checks and implementing asset tracking systems. These practices can help businesses ensure that all of their assets are accounted for and are not being concealed. In addition, technology can be used to help identify hidden assets. For example, using X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging can uncover structural issues and forgeries in art or other valuable items. Similarly, data mining and analysis can uncover concealed information in digital or electronic files.


The use of a financial investigation to uncover criminal activity is a valuable tool for law enforcement. This process is often utilized for identifying suspects in money laundering, terrorist financing, drug trafficking, and other criminal operations. It also identifies the economic structure within a group and helps to identify individuals’ partisans in illicit activities. In addition, it can help to follow the paper trail involved in a property loss case, shareholder disputes, and business interruptions.

A financial investigation can reveal the origins of money, where it was received, and where it is being deposited or stored. It can also uncover criminal activity such as bribery, embezzlement, and tax evasion. It can also provide a list of creditors, liens, and guarantors. This information can be used to make legal judgments and take appropriate actions against the suspects.

During the latest revision of FATF Recommendations, greater emphasis was placed on the importance of financial investigations to combat serious crime. These investigations can reveal new leads to investigate a crime, map out entire criminal networks and their cross-border ramifications, and allow investigators to confiscate criminal assets.

A financial investigation begins with a basic asset check. This involves searching open sources such as Google and social media, closed sources such as vehicle registration databases, and informal checks with banks. This information is then compiled, analyzed and interpreted. The results are then presented to police and prosecutors for prosecution or confiscation.

Identity Theft

Using stolen credentials and information, identity thieves create credit card accounts in your name, apply for loans or mortgages, or use your personal data to steal government benefits. Identity theft can also lead to debt collection problems and prevent you from renting an apartment or applying for a job.

The FBI estimates that identity theft costs the US economy $52.6 billion each year. The agency recommends that consumers check their credit reports on a regular basis and watch for signs of fraud, such as unrecognized charges or withdrawals from their bank or credit card accounts. The more often you check your accounts, the more likely you are to catch fraudsters in their early stages of the crime.

While financial identity theft is the most common form of ID theft, it is not the only type. Criminals can use your personal details to obtain state-issued identification documents, and even a fake driver’s license. This is referred to as criminal identity theft, and can be discovered when the criminal is arrested for a crime or denied employment or a loan due to something found in a background check.

Medical identity theft is another common type of ID theft, where criminals use your medical or insurance information to seek treatment posing as you. In some cases, the crime can continue undetected until you receive a medical bill for services you never received.


In some cases, individuals who owe others money may hide their assets from official record books in an attempt to avoid paying them. A financial investigation may uncover these assets using the “follow the money” approach. In such cases, investigators may verify bank accounts and other financial assets, investigate the origin of funds and track any other associated activities. This can be useful for a variety of situations, including resolving debt issues, settling personal injury claims and conducting due diligence during global business transactions.

Fraud can occur for many reasons, and it is usually motivated by a desire to make a financial profit. Examples of fraud include insurance premium diversion, workers compensation fraud, churning (excessive trading by stockbrokers to maximize commissions), and car accident or house fire fraud. Investigators may also uncover government fraud, such as overcharging for procedures or providing old equipment when billing for new items.

Detecting fraud is crucial to the success of any business. In addition to reducing the risk of revenue loss, a dedicated team of fraud specialists can also help companies meet regulatory requirements to report suspicious activity to governing bodies. The best way to find a reputable and reliable financial investigator is to ask for recommendations from trusted contacts. For example, seeking referrals from accountants or business associates can lead to qualified professionals with a proven track record.