Whether it is the case of a judgement-debtor who simply will not pay, or that of a spouse in a divorce keen on hiding their assets, proving someone has a sizeable amount of money in cryptocurrency can be quite a challenge. When consulting with clients we advise them that there are a number of ways to discover the hidden cryptocurrency assets of a defendant in a civil suit. These methods include:
- Subpoenaing via the court the defendant’s financial records: This can include bank statements, credit card statements, and investment account statements. If the defendant has any cryptocurrency assets, they are likely to be listed on one of these statements.
- Serving a court subpoena on cryptocurrency exchanges: Cryptocurrency exchanges are required to keep records of all transactions that take place on their platform. By serving a subpoena on a cryptocurrency exchange, the plaintiff can obtain information about all of the transactions that the defendant has made through the exchange.
- Using blockchain analysis tools: Blockchain analysis tools can be used to track the movement of cryptocurrency transactions. By using these tools, the plaintiff can identify all of the cryptocurrency addresses that the defendant has used.You will need a cryptocurrency expert for this purpose.
- Hire a forensic accountant:Where the search is complicated, we sometimes advise clients to hire forensic accountants who are experts in tracing assets and that their findings have a great evidential value.
It is important to note that discovering hidden cryptocurrency assets can be a costly, complex and time-consuming process. However, with the help of a qualified attorney and the use of the right tools, it is possible to track down even the most well-hidden cryptocurrency assets.
Here are some additional clues we advise a client to look for, to discover hidden cryptocurrency assets of an individual, especially an ex-spouse keen on keeping their wealth to themselves:
- Look for red flags: There are a number of red flags that can indicate that a defendant may be hiding cryptocurrency assets. These red flags include:
- The defendant has recently become interested in cryptocurrency.
- The defendant has made large cash withdrawals from their bank account or your joint accounts.
- The defendant has suddenly purchased expensive assets, such as cars or houses having no visible, sizeable income.
- The defendant has suddenly changed their spending habits.
- Talk to witnesses: Witnesses may be able to provide information about the defendant’s cryptocurrency holdings. These witnesses could include friends, family, co-workers, or business associates.
- Use social media: Social media can be a valuable source of information about the defendant’s cryptocurrency holdings. By searching the defendant’s public social media accounts, you may be able to find posts about cryptocurrency, or even pictures of the defendant with cryptocurrency.You can also see if they are members of cryptocurrency advise or fan groups and read their contributions to these groups. Obviously, to access the social media accounts and emails to review their messages directly you will need court intervention if you and your spouse have separated before divorce. If you are looking for advice with regard to discovery of hidden cryptocurrencies of a defendant or an ex-spouse, feel free to email us at [email protected] for legal consultation.