While the following story did not occur here in Columbus, Ohio, it still demonstrates what not to do when you go through a divorce.
Many people have probably heard of divorce stories where one of the splitting spouses hides his or her assets in a foreign account or by some other means. You may think to yourself “how did they manage to do that?” Well, a man who went through a tough divorce with his ex-wife shows just what lengths you have to go to in order to hide your assets — and the punishment that awaits you if your plot is discovered.
The man and his ex-wife filed for divorce in 1999, and it wasn’t completed until 2008. It was apparently a very contentious split. In 2005, the man filed for bankruptcy.
All of this is the background information of an otherwise insidious plot by the man to hide his assets and wealth from his wife, all so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. The man put his assets and money under other people’s names both before and after his bankruptcy. He even laundered some money through an attorney he knew at the time. Eventually that attorney funneled the money back to him.
The plot was uncovered, and now the man has been given a 17-year prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.
To all you divorcing couples out there: don’t hide any assets or money. It will almost certainly come back to haunt you. If you are paying child support or alimony and after awhile you find out that you can’t keep up with the payments, there are legal appeals you can make to have your support or alimony payments adjusted. Sometimes life throws you a curveball — maybe you get laid off from your job, or you have to take a significant pay cut. These things greatly affect your ability to pay child support or alimony, and the courts may grant you a lower monthly payment while you try to get back on your feet.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Northern California man who hid assets to avoid paying child support, alimony gets 17-year prison term,” Associated Press, March 5, 2014