Locating Bank Accounts That May Be Registered Under Multiple Names or Entities
Individuals seeking to conceal their assets often open multiple bank accounts, potentially at overseas or out-of-state institutions. Others shelter funds in accounts registered to sham corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs), or use an alias or maiden name to avoid detection. Technology can aid the deception: online banking now enables enterprising individuals to establish overseas accounts without leaving their desks. Creating multiple bank accounts is relatively easy and the reasons for doing so can be extremely varied.
Public registries of corporate and LLC information are generally maintained in each state by the respective Secretary of State, and provide searchable information on registered agents, officers, and incorporators. In certain states, this information is free; others charge a nominal fee for searching their records. This is often the appropriate place to begin a search for alternate entities and corporate vehicles that may be used by an individual to conceal assets.
However, successfully locating shell corporations, LLCs, and special-purpose entities is a complex and intensive process that generally requires more advanced methods of investigation. Some of the most valuable methods and sources are restricted to law enforcement and licensed private investigators, such as proprietary databases, vendor records and payments, and third party information. This one of the reasons why hiring a private investigator to undertake an asset search can be essential when seeking information on undisclosed assets, including overseas and out-of-state accounts.