Tracing funds and identifying assets through complex money laundering schemes and corporate structures.
The satisfactory resolution of commercial disputes, or the recovery of the proceeds of fraud and embezzlement, frequently depends on successfully tracing and recovering assets. The location and ownership of those assets are often obscured through complex corporate, nominee or trust structures, and disbursed across multiple jurisdictions.
Kroll’s Asset Tracing and Recovery service penetrates efforts to shield cash, real estate, corporate holdings, financial instruments, commodities, and other tangible and intangible assets from discovery. We are experts in tracing funds and identifying assets through the most complex of money laundering schemes and corporate structures. Our findings have helped clients establish the asset position of parties in contract disputes, enforce international arbitration awards, and recover assets in the aftermath of litigation and arbitration, complex frauds and banking collapses.
We achieve results by bringing to bear the combined expertise of Kroll’s global resources in business intelligence and investigations. Our engagement teams combine specialists in investigative research, forensic accounting, financial analysis, intelligence analysis, and insolvency and cyber security, allowing them to break through obfuscations. The ability of our global teams to work cohesively as an integrated unit makes us particularly effective in solving cross-border cases.
Successful asset tracing and recovery almost always occur as part of a larger legal strategy and ensures that our efforts are focused on those assets which are of the most strategic value. Our experience working with law firms and general counsel makes us well-versed in identifying, compiling and preparing evidence that will stand up to scrutiny in a variety of legal proceedings and across jurisdictions.
Case Study – Investigating a US$150 Million Fraud
A Moscow-based financial institution and its external counsel approached Kroll regarding an apparent $150 million loss in its London-based fixed-income trading team. We conducted an onsite financial investigation to establish whether the bank had suffered a fraud; identify potential wrongdoers and beneficiaries; and provide forensic evidence to help initiate legal proceedings in London to freeze assets and obtain disclosure.
Over a two-year period, we worked with the client and their legal advisors to obtain further disclosure to trace the proceeds of the fraud and to identify further assets that could be subject to recovery. We also utilized our international network to identify assets purchased with the proceeds of the fraud through investigative research and local source inquiries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North and South America. The assets identified included high-end property in London and Switzerland, classic cars, shares, diamonds, antiques and other chattels.
Our findings were used to support a civil fraud claim filed in the UK and additional proceedings initiated in several other jurisdictions. The judgment found in favor of the client and has resulted in the recovery of a significant portion of the amount sought.
Case Study – Asset Search on Behalf of a Multi-National Energy Corporation
A multinational energy corporation retained Kroll to conduct an asset search, in anticipation of an international arbitration award in its favor following a dispute with a Latin American government and its state-controlled oil monopoly. Our team sought to identify non-immune assets that were demonstrably and directly controlled by the state corporation in jurisdictions that we (and the client’s attorneys) believed would recognize the arbitration award and grant attachment orders. We identified corporate assets (subsidiaries and joint ventures), fixed assets, receivables from customers, and oil tankers that belonged to the subject entities. Our investigation helped the client’s counsel secure pre-award attachment orders in several jurisdictions, thereby preserving several valuable assets for possible recovery.
Case Study – Identification of Non-Immune, Seizable Assets
Kroll was retained by a multinational company to identify non-immune seizable assets belonging to a sovereign country. The company has been awarded over $100 million in arbitration. To date, Kroll has identified assets worth several billion dollars that can be classified as non-immune. The assets are located in several different countries in the form of cash in bank accounts, commercial businesses, properties and receivables.