Asset Tracing

Clients usually approach Bearstone to clarify suspicions of fraud or during post-transactional disputes. Law firms typically engage us to identify assets held by individuals, as part of dispute resolution proceedings in which the investigative target owes a debt to the law firm’s client. Owners of nonperforming loans (banks or funds) engage us to assess the true worth of their counterparties in debt resolution cases.

Case Study

Bearstone was engaged by a preeminent London law firm representing an Ultra-HNW client. We were tasked with conducting a worldwide asset search on an individual from the CIS region who had defaulted on a debt to the client worth hundreds of millions of euros. The law firm’s client had been granted an order by the UK High Court to seize the debtor’s assets.

Our team began by developing an intelligence profile for the target individual, in order to identify leads for further deep inquiries. The profile was based on OSINT research and the client’s proprietary information. Early leads pointed to offshore jurisdictions in which the target individual had a presence. Local contacts were deployed to collect preliminary intelligence, in addition to both physical (audio and video) and cyber surveillance. Our team generated further leads that pointed to several other jurisdictions in the European Union, North America and Asia. It transpired that the target individual was using offshore entities to hide ownership of assets in countries where they could use the assets, and benefiting from their ownership.

We identified financial assets, real estate and controlling stakes in profitable and operational companies. It was the identification of these companies, of which the target individual was the ultimate beneficial owner, that proved highly valuable to the client. The law firm representing the client was able to apply for seizure of the assets of these companies.