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Hiding assets could trigger tax evasion charges

Worried that your spouse is hiding assets so that you cannot get your fair share when the two of you get divorced? Maybe you brought up divorce last month and now your spouse has been taking trips and acting oddly, and you think he or she is attempting to defraud you of the money.

One thing you should know is that your spouse may be doing more than violating your trust. Many people think that they're just protecting their own money or doing something almost valiant. What they really may be doing is violating federal tax laws.

For instance, one man who worked as a plastic surgeon found out that his wife was going to leave him. He took his money to Costa Rica and Panama. He started with $3 million, then added $4.6 million the following year.

When the divorce came, he said that he'd been investing in overseas companies and he also claimed they'd failed and he'd lost the investment. This was a unique way to hide assets because he admitted that the money had been there. Some people just remain adamant that it doesn't exist.

However, he'd never told the IRS about the money. Investigators eventually seized the money and charged him with tax evasion and wire fraud. He was given a sentence of 48 months behind bars.

This example helps to underscore the lengths that people will go to when they're desperately trying to hide assets. They tend to make mistakes and leave ways for their actions to be discovered. Be sure you know your legal rights and all the options you have to make sure the assets get divided properly.

Source: Washington Post, "How the world’s wealthy hide millions offshore — from their spouses," Ana Swanson, accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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