Hiding Cryptocurrency In A Divorce
In a divorce, marital assets are split equitably under Florida law. However, some spouses don’t want to split their assets. They may have a significant amount of money in a retirement account or in stocks or bonds and don’t want to give half of it to their spouse.
This is increasingly common when it comes to cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency refers to digital currency that has no central entity such as a bank or government. It circulates online and cannot be printed.
Because cryptocurrency is not tangible, it’s easy to hide. It is often used in money laundering schemes because it can be easily lost in the shuffle. People tend to look for actual money, not the digital kind.
However, law firms are becoming savvy to cryptocurrency schemes. Many of them will specifically look for hidden assets such as crypto in a divorce to make sure that everything is accounted for. However, looking for these assets is a real headache for law firms because cryptocurrency is so complex. It’s so hard to locate it without doing a bunch of work.
So how are people hiding it? In an divorce, all assets have to be declared. So what the majority of spouses (mostly husbands) are doing is simply keeping mum about their cryptocurrency accounts. Maybe they forgot about that purchase they made a decade ago, but more than likely, they are trying to hide it because, well, they think they can. They may have millions of dollars and it’s all online, so can someone really find it?
When spouses do put effort in hiding their cryptocurrency, they engage in money laundering techniques to throw investigators off the trail. They may use crypto mixers, which are services that blend the cryptocurrencies of many users together to obscure the owners and origins of the funds.
Crypto mixers are not inherently illegal, since they can be used for legitimate privacy reasons. However, when they are used to hide funds, things get a little sketchy.
What Are the Consequences?
Hiding assets in a divorce is illegal. While lying about assets under oath is considered perjury, typically not much is done about it. Perjury can technically result in several years in jail, but this rarely happens.
When the hidden assets are discovered, they are added to the pot of marital assets so they can be divided in a divorce. After that, though, not much is done. Courts don’t usually punish offenders like they should, so people will continue to hide cryptocurrency.
Seek Legal Help
Many people hide assets in a divorce. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency are becoming more and more popular, so lawyers are taking the time to look for these assets.
Think your spouse may be hiding cryptocurrency and other assets in a divorce? If so, Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can work with the right experts to help uncover them. To schedule a consultation, call 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form.