Fraud is still rising, and not only in some parts of the world but everywhere. Analyzing the April 2020 fraud rates in the UK, it has been found that there has been an increase of 33% in all financial products.
The asset finances applications that have experienced the biggest surge were cars. Some other factors are helpful when it comes to explaining how this alarming trend has increased because the COVID-19 had such a negative impact on the planet’s economy.
When sudden and continuous professional problems have started to appear, many people have started to struggle to deal with their financial obligations. No longer making payments became common. And in the meantime, more and more people decided to work from home.
Because they weren’t supervised and the economy ended up in a rather bad state, people have resorted to fraud because they wanted to supplement their income. Further, this led the society to be in more demand for asset tracing services from professionals. More and more people no longer trust litigation funded by the state, and in the UK, there are more and more private prosecutions. This free article explains why.
What Is Asset Tracing?
Asset tracing is the technique that investigators use to locate the assets that have been appropriated legitimately and must receive identification in assisting litigation. Asset tracing is also used for identifying misappropriated and stolen assets. And the assets might belong to a private or a corporation. As easy as this sounds, it’s difficult to be put into practice. Criminals are trying their best to track stolen assets down and make themselves disappear. This means investigators need to track them down and often make transactions leading them to suspects. There are two steps involved in many asset traces:
Desktop Research Practiced Remotely
Investigators are using open and closed source data that’s usually obtained by disclosure orders when it comes to compiling illegal activity orders to trace misappropriated assets.
Another job is to complete all sorts of discreet inquiries. They obtain corporate file copies, obviously in the countries that are subject to Asset Trace. They might be meeting with former colleagues or human resources. This helps identify just where the assets have been intentionally put away. Asset tracing’s goals have always been the same: freezing, identifying, and reclaiming the assets that have been stolen. In the meantime, the illegal activity gets exposed.
When Is Asset Tracing Being Used?
Asset tracing is practiced when large multinationals have fallen to be the victims of theft or fraud. Usually, asset tracing supports new and ongoing civil investigations. Analyzing the 5,000 multinationals and companies polled in the most recent PWC research, half of them were the victims of frauds, and this only in the last couple of years.
As far as the average of cases goes, this was at 6 per company, bringing a total in losses of $42 billion. While global conglomerates are making annual revenue in billions, they still can’t afford to be writing such sums of money. Nothing can stop small and medium companies or very rich individuals from taking the same approach with finances. However, the financial approach should be considered when starting an investigation and trying to determine the guilty side.
When making an effort to reclaim stolen capital, but the initial estimates are costlier in terms of investigator fees, as well the legal ones, then going to court no longer makes sense, at least not from a financial point of view. This means it’s not always possible to recover the stolen assets at their entire value.
The situations involving asset tracing are:
- Public corruption cases. This is when public funds have been embezzled or misappropriated, as an example.
- Proceedings with divorce. More precisely, these are when a party suspects the other party of having concealed assets.
- Due diligence. This involves ensuring that a new investor or business partner doesn’t have a stained criminal record.
- Career criminals brought to justice. This is about stopping criminals from repeating their actions.
Why Is Asset Tracing Being Used?
Private prosecution is helpful for the crime victims to receive justice when the other avenues have been exhausted. Justice happens to be very important for asset tracing, especially when a fraud claim must be substantiated. Its main purpose is recovering stolen assets, at least a percentage of them.
Many might wonder what the advantages of employing someone professional for asset tracing are. First, desktop research by amateurs doesn’t get anyone far. When analyzing open-source data reams like the ones on social media and from records of Companies House, the time is actually wasted. And even if wrongdoing is identified, a connection with the stolen assets should still be established. At the same time, obtaining information from sources that are restricted is still difficult.
Data privacy laws are not the same in each country. While having access to company records, property deeds, or tax documents is straight to the point in Russia and the US, the EU and the UK don’t operate this way. In other words, illegally obtained gains are easier to hide. The most discreet bank transfers are shelling corporations to conceal the illegal activities taking place behind closed doors. In these surroundings, tracking assets is almost impossible, especially for those who aren’t knowledgeable, don’t have experience, resources, or contacts.
Professional investigators are aware of what they need to be looking for on all sorts of open platforms. They’re combining closed-source data with the obtained information to identify the suspect. Besides, they know how to access in-region resources and collaborate with local authorities for their investigation to run smoothly, which is essential in international fraud cases.
Employ Professional Investigators
Speed is very important for asset tracing. When waiting to act, locating the assets becomes very difficult. Any delay is giving criminals time to dispose of assets, which even if they are located at some point, only a percentage of their original value can be recovered. And things become even more difficult when the asset tracing process happens to be more complex. Going after an international trail, where the data privacy laws are influencing the competition through the information type discovered, gives the challenge new dimensions. Therefore, using the services of professionals such as, for example, Sauron Detective is essential. There are many other organizations that work with this type of request in all countries. We advise you to look at what conditions each of them offers in order to choose the best one in the end.