Offshore account used to hide marital assets

Alaska is a long way away from Texas yet when it comes to the very rich divorcing; they are not so far apart. Many high asset couples go to great lengths to hide assets from one another when faced with divorce. In a recent article in Forbes magazine, the case of one Alaska man’s attempt to hide assets from his ex wife ends in a criminal conviction.

An Alaska doctor chose to hide two offshore accounts from his soon to be ex wife by lying to the IRS about their existence. The doctor, facing divorce, decided that it would be a good idea to take money and gold and try to hide it between two offshore bank accounts. One account, opened in Costa Rica, had $350,000 in it and was linked to a safe deposit box which held 1,000 ounces of gold. The doctor opened another account in Panama, in which he deposited $4.6 million under a fake corporation name.

Problems for the doctor began when he decided to omit information regarding the offshore accounts to the IRS in his tax returns that would be used in his financial records for divorce. Had he disclosed the offshore accounts to the IRS, his wife would also have found out about them. His fear of his ex wife taking half of his money led him to violate U.S. law and lie to the IRS.

Once the doctor’s divorce was final, he tried to bring the hidden millions back to the states but was intercepted by Homeland Security. After an investigation into the illegal activity, the doctor was charged with wire fraud and convicted.

Despite this doctor’s elaborate attempts to hide assets from his ex wife, he was caught. As the author of the Forbes article puts it “someone knows.” The lesson for spouses who think that hiding assets will help keep them out of a divorce proceeding, think again.

Source: Forbes, “Hiding Assets Offshore To Cheat Ex-Wife Leads To Criminal Conviction Of Dr. Brandner,” Jay Adkisson, Nov. 12, 2015

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