Over the years, when investigating financial matters, it has been determined essential to “follow the money.” In training, the Internal Revenue Service fostered the concept of “full financial investigation.” In the private sector, “following the money” is key to answering client questions and solving their need for information and recovery. For example: In business disputes where partners hide business receipts from other partners; in divorce cases where a spouse hides money from the other spouse; in fraud cases where the criminal hides money from its victims; in estate matters where the executor hides money from their siblings; in corporate cases where a person in a responsible position exploits a weakness in the system of records and embezzles money; and in income tax cases where the taxpayer hides money from the Internal Revenue Service—it is absolutely necessary to “follow the money” to its ultimate disposition to help the client with information necessary to take action.
Intentional acts—within all the above activities, there is a state of mind that begins to develop and the element of intent emerges through actions, words, and deeds. That state of mind separates an accidental act from an intentional act. Fraudsters Bernie Madoff, Reed Slatkin, Allen Stanford, and local Austin, Texas gentlemen, Russel Erxleben and Brian Stearns operated large Ponzi schemes that victimized thousands. Their intent was to take as much money from their victims as they could and not get caught. The victims on the other hand were brought into their web of secrecy by their desire for financial gain but they did not respect the old adage of “If it is too good to be true, it generally is!”
These fraudsters all did good things through public philanthropy and donated money to charitable organizations for which the public was grateful. The only problem was the source of the donated money was OPM—Other People’s Money. While maintaining the façade of wealth, the fraudster hobnobs with politicians, wealthy business owners, heads of large companies, and other individuals in the social scene. Eventually the schemes run out of OPM and the schemes fail, leaving investors as victims. When this happened, the victims were cast as greedy individuals, which most were not. Many victims were financially destroyed. Others were not destroyed and wanted to fight back and not wait for the government to solve their problems. They hired lawyers who needed experienced investigators and forensic accountants with the latest in technology in accessing the information to recover assets. Then enters Sage Investigations, LLC with DIO technology for faster and more efficient investigation and reporting into “following the money.”
The same DIO technology can be used in business disputes, tracing separate property in divorces of high wealth individuals, the theft of money by the executor of an estate, or the theft of money from a corporate entity. There is always someone lacking morals and integrity that will attempt to take OPM whether it is business receipts, separate property, or inherited property. By “following the money” a picture will develop of what has happened to the money. Perhaps the money is transferred to a close friend or relative or just spent on personal things and toys, or invested in a business or brokerage account. Some of these assets are recoverable with the assistance of an attorney and greatly enhanced through the use of a consulting expert. The expert can guide the attorney in securing and analyzing records and develop testimony of individuals that are close enough to the subject to determine what has happened to the money.
At Sage Investigations, our team has a clear mission in mind. Our investigations and forensic firm is:
- Dedicated to serving our clients nationally, to help them navigate the difficulties of dealing with complex (forensic) financial fraud investigations, both civil and criminal;
- Precise in our focus, narrowing in on our primary strengths of “following the money,” we steer our knowledge, skills, and experience to financial issues;
- Committed to helping our clients propel their case forward by assisting in the review, acquisition, and organization of financial records, interviewing witnesses, evaluating the elements of their case, and helping to create winning strategies;
- Dedicated to helping attorneys find assets through investigation and to recover those assets through court actions.
- Consistently integrating technology to the advantage of our client with the use of advanced proprietary financial investigative technology (DIO) to analyze complex financial data quickly, easily, and efficiently, saving our clients’ time and money.
There is no better firm at “following the money” than Sage Investigations with over 40 years of experience and using proprietary software (DIO) to help develop the full picture of the financial aspects of the case. Learn more about assisting your clients by contacting Retired IRS Special Agent Edmond J. Martin, Chief Investigator at Sage Investigations, LLC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.sageinvestigations.com or call 512-659-3179.