Asset Search: What is meant by a Financial Investigator?

Recent technological advancements allow the hiding of assets and money  easier than ever before—and locating those assets can be a long, difficult process.

Financial investigations play an important role in many circumstances. From ruling in a divorce court to detecting fraud, financial investigations can protect everyday people and businesses from losing money.

But what exactly is a financial investigator, and how do you know if you need to hire one?

Defining a Financial Investigator: Detecting Hidden Assets

A financial investigator is a skilled professional who helps uncover hidden assets and money. They work alongside individuals and corporate entities in order to detect or discover:

Hidden real estate

Locations of hidden assets

Asset recovery

Due diligence

Intellectual property

Attempts of fraud

Hidden bank accounts

Hidden business ventures

And more

This list generally scratches the surface in terms of what a financial investigator can do.

Individuals: When to Hire a Financial Investigator

Financial investigations can be a critical piece of the puzzle to serious events in your life. Unfortunately, even those who you love and trust the most can hide assets or money from you—but finding and even retrieving those funds can prove to be quite the battle.

These are a few circumstances when an individual may need the assistance of a private investigator, such as:

Divorce settlements. When couples get divorced, a spouse may attempt to hide money so they won’t have to share with their newly ex husband or wife. They will hide money or even assets such as real estate, and walk away with all of their money in tow. A financial investigator can help reveal these hidden assets and make for a fair divorce settlement for both parties.

Recovery of child support payments. Along with divorce, child support can also turn into a nasty battle where it’s difficult to retrieve funds. A financial investigator can discover how much income the other parent is making, and get your child support payments back on track.

General asset and money detection. If your spouse or loved one is acting suspicious and you suspect that he or she is hiding money, a financial investigator can help trace bank accounts, review tax returns, and more.

Why Businesses Should Consider Financial Investigations

Financial investigations can also benefit businesses for a variety of reasons. These are several scenarios when a business should consider hiring a financial investigator such as Able Forensics:

Determining if improper payments were made from within the company, such as kickbacks, bribes, or payoffs

Detection of tax fraud

Determining if transactions were purposely left off of the books

By working with a financial investigator, businesses can help catch fraud before it happens and misuse of money and assets before it happens. Able Forensics can help businesses with financial investigations, background checks, fraud investigations, and more.

Need a Financial Investigator? Contact Able Legal Investigations Today

If you’re in need of a financial investigator in the San Diego area and surrounding, Able Legal Investigations can help you get to the bottom of the case. Contact us today to learn more at 760-233-0050.

What is a Permissible Purpose Asset Investigation

Permissible Purposes
Excerpt from the GLB (Gramm-Leach-Biley Act)Except for the amendments made by subsections (a) and (b), nothing in this title shall be construed to modify, limit, or supersede the operation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and no inference shall be drawn on the basis of the provisions of this title regarding whether information is transaction or experience information under section 603 of such Act.What are permissible purposes?

1. Legitimate Business Transaction (FCRA)

A business transaction that is initiated by the consumer; or to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account.

2. Collection/Extension of Credit (FCRA)

In connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer. Asset searches may not be used to determine a consumer’s eligibility for insurance, credit, or employment.

3. Employment Purposes (FCRA) 
In connection with a consumer’s employment. Asset searches may not be used to determine a consumer’s eligibility for insurance, credit, or employment.

4. Consumer Insurance (FCRA)

In connection with the underwriting of insurance involving a consumer. Asset searches may not be used to determine a consumer’s eligibility for insurance, credit, or employment.

5. Government License or Benefit (FCRA)

In connection with a determination of the consumer’s eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmental instrumentality required by law to consider an applicant’s financial responsibility or status.


6. Response to a Court Order (FCRA)

In response to the order of a court having jurisdiction to issue such an order, or a subpoena issued in connection with proceedings before a Federal grand jury.

7. Written Instruction by a Consumer (FCRA)

In accordance with the written instructions of a consumer.

8. Investor, Servicer, or Current Insurer (FCRA)

In connection with a valuation of, or an assessment of the credit or prepayment risks associated with an existing credit obligation for a consumer.

9. Child Support Enforcement (FCRA)

In response to a request by the head of a State or local child support enforcement agency (or a State or local government official authorized by the head of such an agency) or to set a child support award.

10. Law Enforcement (FCRA)

For use by any Law Enforcement Agency, or any officer, employee, or agent of such agency in carrying out its official duties with proper authorization.

11. Fraud Detection/Prevention (Non-FCRA)

For use to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud, unauthorized transactions, claims, or other liability.

12. Civil or Criminal Investigation (FCRA)

For use in a properly authorized civil, criminal, or regulatory investigation, subpoena, or summons by federal, state, or local authorities.

13. Other

Any other use permitted or otherwise not restricted by law, not subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 USC 1681(b) et.seq., as amended) and which may reasonably be expected to be part of the normal course and scope of your business or profession. The purpose is not to determine a consumer’s eligibility for insurance, credit, employment or any other consumer-related purpose.

With regards to consumer investigative reports, obligations under the FCRA are as follows.

Appendix C to Part 601

Prescribed Notice of User Responsibilities


The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that this notice be provided to inform users of consumer reports of their legal obligations. State law may impose additional requirements. This first section of this summary sets forth the responsibilities imposed by the FCRA on all users of consumer reports. The subsequent sections discuss the duties of users of reports that contain specific types of information, or that are used for certain purposes, and the legal consequences of violations. The FCRA, 15 U.S.C. 1681-1681u, is set forth in full at the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet web site (


A. Users Must Have a Permissible Purpose

Congress has limited the use of consumer reports to protect consumers’ privacy. All users must have a permissible purpose under the FCRA to obtain a consumer report. Section 604 of the FCRA contains a list of the permissible purposes under the law. These are:

  • As ordered by a court or a federal grand jury subpoena. Section 604(a)(1)
  • As instructed by the consumer in writing. Section 604(a)(2)
  • For the extension of credit as a result of an application from a consumer, or the review or collection of a consumer’s account. Section 604(a)(3)(A)
  • For employment purposes, including hiring and promotion decisions, where the consumer has given written permission. Sections 604(a)(3)(B) and 604(b)
  • For the underwriting of insurance as a result of an application from a consumer. Section 604(a)(3)(C)
  • When there is a legitimate business need, in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer. Section 604(a)(3)(F)(i)
  • To review a consumer’s account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account. Section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii)
  • To determine a consumer’s eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmental instrumentality required by law to consider an applicant’s financial responsibility or status. Section 604(a)(3)(D)
  • For use by a potential investor or servicer, or current insurer, in a valuation or assessment of the credit or prepayment risks associated with an existing credit obligation. Section 604(a)(3)(E)
  • For use by state and local officials in connection with the determination of child support payments, or modifications and enforcement thereof. Sections 604(a)(4) and 604(a)(5)

In addition, creditors and insurers may obtain certain consumer report information for the purpose of making unsolicited offers of credit or insurance. The particular obligations of users of this “prescreened” information are described in Section V below.

B. Users Must Provide Certifications

Section 604(f) of the FCRA prohibits any person from obtaining a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency (CRA) unless the person has certified to the CRA (by a general or specific certification, as appropriate) the permissible purpose(s) for which the report is being obtained and certifies that the report will not be used for any other purpose.

C. Users Must Notify Consumers When Adverse Actions Are Taken

The term “adverse action” is defined very broadly by Section 603 of the FCRA. “Adverse actions” include all business, credit, and employment actions affecting consumers that can be considered to have a negative impact — such as unfavorably changing credit or contract terms or conditions, denying or canceling credit or insurance, offering credit on less favorable terms than requested, or denying employment or promotion.

1. Adverse Actions Based on Information Obtained From a CRA

If a user takes any type of adverse action that is based at least in part on information contained in a consumer report, the user is required by Section 615(a) of the FCRA to notify the consumer. The notification may be done in writing, orally, or by electronic means. It must include the following:

The name, address, and telephone number of the CRA (including a toll-free telephone number, if it is a nationwide CRA) that provided the report.

A statement that the CRA did not make the adverse decision and is not able to explain why the decision was made.

A statement setting forth the consumer’s right to obtain a free disclosure of the consumer’s file from the CRA if the consumer requests the report within 60 days.

A statement setting forth the consumer’s right to dispute directly with the CRA the accuracy or completeness of any information provided by the CRA.

2. Adverse Actions Based on Information Obtained From Third Parties Who Are Not Consumer Reporting Agencies

If a person denies (or increases the charge for) credit for personal, family, or household purposes based either wholly or partly upon information from a person other than a CRA, and the information is the type of consumer information covered by the FCRA, Section 615(b)(1) of the FCRA requires that the user clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer his or her right to obtain disclosure of the nature of the information that was relied upon by making a written request within 60 days of notification. The user must provide the disclosure within a reasonable period of time following the consumer’s written request.

3. Adverse Actions Based on Information Obtained From Affiliates

If a person takes an adverse action involving insurance, employment, or a credit transaction initiated by the consumer, based on information of the type covered by the FCRA, and this information was obtained from an entity affiliated with the user of the information by common ownership or control, Section 615(b)(2) requires the user to notify the consumer of the adverse action. The notification must inform the consumer that he or she may obtain a disclosure of the nature of the information relied upon by making a written request within 60 days of receiving the adverse action notice. If the consumer makes such a request, the user must disclose the nature of the information not later than 30 days after receiving the request. (Information that is obtained directly from an affiliated entity relating solely to its transactions or experiences with the consumer, and information from a consumer report obtained from an affiliate are not covered by Section 615(b)(2).)


If information from a CRA is used for employment purposes, the user has specific duties, which are set forth in Section 604(b) of the FCRA. The user must:

Make a clear and conspicuous written disclosure to the consumer before the report is obtained, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained.

Obtain prior written authorization from the consumer.

Certify to the CRA that the above steps have been followed, that the information being obtained will not be used in violation of any federal or state equal opportunity law or regulation, and that, if any adverse action is to be taken based on the consumer report, a copy of the report and a summary of the consumer’s rights will be provided to the consumer.

Before taking an adverse action, provide a copy of the report to the consumer as well as the summary of the consumer’s rights. (The user should receive this summary from the CRA, because Section 604(b)(1)(B) of the FCRA requires CRAs to provide a copy of the summary with each consumer report obtained for employment purposes.)


Investigative consumer reports are a special type of consumer report in which information about a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living is obtained through personal interviews. Consumers who are the subjects of such reports are given special rights under the FCRA. If a user intends to obtain an investigative consumer report, Section 606 of the FCRA requires the following:

The user must disclose to the consumer that an investigative consumer report may be obtained. This must be done in a written disclosure that is mailed, or otherwise delivered, to the consumer not later than three days after the date on which the report was first requested. The disclosure must include a statement informing the consumer of his or her right to request additional disclosures of the nature and scope of the investigation as described below, and must include the summary of consumer rights required by Section 609 of the FCRA. (The user should be able to obtain a copy of the notice of consumer rights from the CRA that provided the consumer report.)

The user must certify to the CRA that the disclosures set forth above have been made and that the user will make the disclosure described below.

Upon the written request of a consumer made within a reasonable period of time after the disclosures required above, the user must make a complete disclosure of the nature and scope of the investigation that was requested. This must be made in a written statement that is mailed, or otherwise delivered, to the consumer no later than five days after the date on which the request was received from the consumer or the report was first requested, whichever is later in time.


Section 604(g) of the FCRA prohibits consumer reporting agencies from providing consumer reports that contain medical information for employment purposes, or in connection with credit or insurance transactions, without the specific prior consent of the consumer who is the subject of the report. In the case of medical information being sought for employment purposes, the consumer must explicitly consent to the release of the medical information in addition to authorizing the obtaining of a consumer report generally.


The FCRA permits creditors and insurers to obtain limited consumer report information for use in connection with unsolicited offers of credit or insurance under certain circumstances. Sections 603(l), 604(c), 604(e), and 615(d) This practice is known as “prescreening” and typically involves obtaining a list of consumers from a CRA who meet certain preestablished criteria. If any person intends to use prescreened lists, that person must (1) before the offer is made, establish the criteria that will be relied upon to make the offer and to grant credit or insurance, and (2) maintain such criteria on file for a three-year period beginning on the date on which the offer is made to each consumer. In addition, any user must provide with each written solicitation a clear and conspicuous statement that:

Information contained in a consumer’s CRA file was used in connection with the transaction.

The consumer received the offer because he or she satisfied the criteria for credit worthiness or insurability used to screen for the offer.

Credit or insurance may not be extended if, after the consumer responds, it is determined that the consumer does not meet the criteria used for screening or any applicable criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability, or the consumer does not furnish required collateral.

The consumer may prohibit the use of information in his or her file in connection with future prescreened offers of credit or insurance by contacting the notification system established by the CRA that provided the report. This statement must include the address and toll-free telephone number of the appropriate notification system.


Section 607(e) of the FCRA requires any person who obtains a consumer report for resale to take the following steps:

Disclose the identity of the end-user to the source CRA.

Identify to the source CRA each permissible purpose for which the report will be furnished to the end-user.

Establish and follow reasonable procedures to ensure that reports are resold only for permissible purposes, including procedures to obtain:

(1) the identity of all end-users;

(2) certifications from all users of each purpose for which reports will be used; and

(3) certifications that reports will not be used for any purpose other than the purpose(s) specified to the reseller. Resellers must make reasonable efforts to verify this information before selling the report.


Failure to comply with the FCRA can result in state or federal enforcement actions, as well as private lawsuits. Sections 616, 617, and 621. In addition, any person who knowingly and willfully obtains a consumer report under false pretenses may face criminal prosecution. Section 619

A Concise Primer to Locating Hidden Assets

The Bank Account.

The financial transaction may relate to a bank, or it could relate to
another category of financial institution: a savings and loan
association, a brokerage account, a credit union, a pension fund, or any
combination of these institutions. Or it could be a pure cash

At all financial institutions two functions occur: money flows in and
money flows out. In a hidden-asset investigation, the money flowing from
the account may be the investment in the hidden asset. The money flowing
into the account may be even more important.

When an account has been identified as the source (or possible source)
of an illicit investment, you must secure that account in its entirety.
That account can only be secured by proper legal process to the bank or
other institution, or directly to the subject business.

Often it is preferable to secure the financial records directly from the
subject business or the suspected front, for a number of reasons. You
will be securing the original document, which is, of course, the best
evidence. Also, you may obtain the records even faster and you will
eliminate the possibility of poor quality documents so often associated
with financial institution duplication.

This method is suggested but must be tailored to your investigation. If
your effort is overt at this phase of the investigation, the bank or
financial institution can be used as a backup source for documents not
received from the subject business or suspected front.

Upon receipt of financial records, tracing of investments begins.
Assuming that the investigation has revealed an investment of a specific
amount from a front’s corporate account, the following should be
analyzed at once:

– All opening account deposits should be obtained and examined.

– All major deposits shortly before and shortly after the date of
investment in the illicit enterprise should be obtained.

– All cash deposits during the same period as (2) should be noted.

– Establish a dollar threshold based on the magnitude of the account and
record all deposits greater than that threshold.

– Complete (4) for all withdrawals of funds.

– Pay special attention to even-dollar disbursements.

– Identify and investigate all regular payments for potential leads.

– Note all wire transfers and credit and debit memos for follow-up

Pursuit of the above items should be the initial steps in the analysis
of bank or financial accounts. The purpose is to identify funds of major
proportion flowing in and out of the account to the subject of the
investigation or his accounts. It may also generate new lead material.

In the analysis of bank accounts, it is crucial that attention be given
to detail and items small in size. Although you may want to focus
initial investigation on the major items in the account as suggested
above, do not overlook the balance of the records. They could be

There are an array of banking records that could prove valuable,
including certificates of deposit, credit card advances and currency
transaction reports. Loan records deserve special attention.

If a deposit analyzed in the financial records was generated as a result
of a loan, it should be pursued diligently. Several questions should be
addressed. Who applied for the loan? How were the proceeds deposited to
the account of interest to the investigation? And perhaps most
important, how was it secured or collateralized?

Answers to these questions regarding the loan could tie your target to
the business, especially the security or collateral for the loan.

Along with bank records, consider the banker. The banker could be the
liaison between the loan for the investment in the illicit asset and the
subject of your investigation. He may also have intimate knowledge of
the business and may even be an informal advisor. Include the banker in
your investigation as a possible valuable source of “inside” information
concerning the ownership and operation of the illicit enterprise.

Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?

Suspicious spouse behavior is enough to drive anyone crazy—especially when that behavior involves hiding assets and missing money. While communication is always key to ensuring that both spouses are aware of finances and assets, it isn’t always that easy. You don’t want to accuse your spouse of hiding assets and risk being wrong. But a lot of times, your gut feeling is accurate.

But before you jump to conclusions, there are several signs to look for to indicate that your spouse is hiding assets.

Personality Changes: Controlling and Secretive

A spouse who is hiding assets may suddenly exhibit personality changes. This often includes becoming more controlling and secretive—especially when it comes to finances. If you and your spouse have generally been open about your finances and even share a bank account, take note of any personality changes involving money.

Other behavioral changes may include:

Discovery of a cell phone or P.O. box that you’ve never seen before

Claiming that hard drives that contain financial information have crashed

Claiming that financial documents or files have suddenly become lost

Purchasing business expenses that have reportedly not been reimbursed

If your spouse is hiding assets, he or she may also become angry when approached about mysterious purchases or missing money.

Decreased Income: Sudden Drop in Regular Take-Home Pay

Another technique that your spouse may use is to report a sudden drop in income. While this scenario is entirely possible, it’s a red flag is your spouse’s spending habits do not reflect this drop in income.

If you notice your spouse carrying on with their regular spending habits, or even spending more money than before, there may be reason to believe that your spouse is hiding assets.

You’re Not Involved in Big Purchases or Business Affairs

Many couples will talk with one another when making a major purchase, especially with items such as vehicles and other big-ticket items. If your spouse has suddenly gained possession of an expensive item without explanation of how he or she paid for it, this is a major red flag that your spouse is hiding assets.

Furthermore, if your spouse owns a business, they may go out of their way to keep you out of any affairs. Denying you of any activity in a successful family business can be a sign that your spouse might be hiding money. 

Asset Search: What to do if Suspect That Your Spouse is Hiding Money

If you are reasonably sure that your spouse is hiding assets, the next step is to contact a credible private investigator for an asset search, such as Able Legal Investigations.

From there, Able Legal Investigations will conduct an asset search to discover hidden money.

Finding Missing Persons

Based in San Diego, Able Investigations provides investigative services to businesses and individuals both throughout the United States and locally to Los Angeles, Orange County, and elsewhere in Southern California. Each Primer will concern itself with an Investigative Topic whch I trust will be of interest and perhaps benefit those who are involved in matters of this sort.

This Primer will concern itself with the initiatives involved in locating a Missing Person

Before you begin, consider why the person you are seeking is “missing.” Someone who is actively trying to avoid some type of trouble will obviously be more challenging to locate than a friend or relative with whom you have simply lost contact. The “intentionally missing” will usually attempt to cover their tracks, however it is almost impossible not to leave at least some indication of one’s whereabouts.

The suggestions below are designed to apply to a variety of situations and should not be considered the only steps that can be taken. Think creatively and put yourself in your subject’s shoes. Eventually you will uncover a vital piece of information that leads you to them.

Keep an organized file of all of the information you collect. Write an “activity log” which includes dates and notes on each person interviewed and piece of information collected. Three critical pieces of identifying information about your subject you should try to start with are:
1 Full legal name
2 Date of birth (DOB) or approximate age
3 Social Security Number (SSN)

Begin with the last place the person was known to be. Proceed backward in time from that point and map out where that person was known to have gone and with whom they may have been in contact. Trace all the way back to their childhood, if possible.

Is the person you are looking for still alive? Run their name through the Social Security Death Index If the individual is deceased, this will detail when they died, their date of birth, Social Security number and last known residence.

Next try a search of the good old Telephone Directory. It is surprising how often a search will end right here. Over 60% of phone numbers in the U.S. are still publicly listed and are very easy to search over the Internet.

Check the U.S. Postal Service for a forwarding address. This information used to be available for a small fee from any post office branch. Changes in their privacy policy mean you need to take a different approach. Address an envelope to the old address along with the words “ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED” printed under the address. The envelope will be returned to you along with a label containing the new address. It will cost you exactly one first-class postage stamp.

If your subject has a criminal history, the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator is the next place to check.

If your subject served in the U.S. military, or is on active duty, an excellent resource is GI

Request a Social Security Number Check to see if your subject has reported a new home addresses or employer on a credit application. This will provide you with the “header” information from their credit report, but it does not require the signed consent that a full credit report does.

Check previous employers’ personnel offices if possible to see if they were contacted as an employment reference. They might know where your subject is now working.

Think of all nicknames used, then try searching various Telephone Directoryunder those names.

Talk to former neighbors of your subject. They will often have some idea where your subject went.

Talk to relatives of your subject. You can often find them using the trusty telephone directory too.

Check voter registration affidavits with the local County Registrar of Voters. These records usually include name, address, prior addresses, date of birth, date of registration, occupation, phone number and signature. The information is public record. Only the records of certain law enforcement personnel are kept confidential.

If your subject is a licensed or certified professional, you can check the licensing and certification boards in the states where you suspect they may live to see if their whereabouts are listed there.

Check with the last high school, college or technical school attended by your subject. Many will have information on whereabouts for reunions or career plans.

Check with the County Recorder for birth, marriage and death certificates.
1 Birth certificates will include the full legal name, date, time and place of birth, gender, parents names, ages, occupations and places of birth. A copy of the certificate can usually be ordered for about $15.00
2 Marriage certificates include birth names of both parties, ages, places of birth, occupations, addresses, highest education levels, signatures, number of previous marriages, how and when previous marriages ended, parents’ names and places of birth, date and location of marriage, name and signature of officiant, addresses and signatures of witnesses. Some marriage certificates are not public record, however most are.
3 Death certificates include the name of the deceased, date and time of death, gender, race, date of birth, age, birthplace, name and birthplace of parents, citizenship, dates of military service, social security number, marital status, name of surviving spouse, occupation, number of years in the occupation, employer, kind of industry or business, residence, name and address and relationship of the informant, place of death, causes of death, indications of autopsy, name and address and license number of physician, dates of treatment, disposition of body, date of interment, name and address of cemetery or crematory, embalmer’s license number and signature, name and license of funeral director and recording date. Use the Social Security Death Index first.

A few additional suggestions in case you get stuck:

Keep an organized file.
Write down everything you uncover as well as where and when you obtained the information.

Get any address you can find.
The most common technique is to trace a subject from his or her past address to their new one. Don’t stop with the most recent address, though – get all or the old addresses you can find. Older addresses may belong to family members or close friends that your subject may move back in with. This can also lead you to new sources whom your subject keeps in contact with.

Flag special dates.
Everyone has to pay their rent, register their car, renew their driver’s license, etc. New information can materialize in places you may have already checked. In addition, check country records every month for updates.

Re-interview prime witnesses.
Always provide potential sources of information with an easy way to contact you. This is, of course, no guarantee that they will, but at least they’ll know where to reach you. Check back with those you believe may have some contact with your subject.

Review your case file with someone else.
Sometimes explaining the situation to another person will help you make connections you didn’t see before.

Suspend the investigation for a few weeks.
Not only does this allow time for new leads to develop, but it also gives you an opportunity to relax and collect your thoughts.

In short, remember:
• Always be evaluating your approach: Is there a better way to approach the investigation?
• Check all former addresses – this will probably be your most important source of leads.
• Keep checking with old friends and relatives – your subject may contact them at any time.
• Finally, let your unconscious mind do some of the work: try sleeping on it!

Criminal Defense Investigator Assistance

Criminal defense investigation is not a subordinate to law enforcement criminal investigation. It is a highly specialized discipline within itself and therefore requires training and research suited to its own needs. With this in mind, Able Investigations has employed a basic methodology, procedure, and investigative process devoted solely to the discipline of criminal defense investigation.
The criminal defense investigatigation practice involves the investigation of suspected violation of a criminal statute by either the state, federal, or military authorities. Investigations for clients at virtually every stage of a criminal proceeding, from investigation through trial to appellate and post-conviction (writ of habeas corpus) phases.

The Need for Help From a Financial Investigator

A professional financial investigator attempts to determine the source of money, its movement and uses. This form of investigation is also called forensic accounting. It is a vital investigation especially when handling tax evasion, embezzlement, theft, money laundering and corporate investigations among others.

Who should hire a financial investigator?

There are several individuals and entities that may need services of this expert. They include the following:

  • Asset search companies
  • Corporate institutions that engage in acquisitions and mergers
  • Partners and shareholders in disputes
  • Individuals going through a divorce
  • Individuals involved in a civil litigation

Companies that engage in asset search for individuals and corporate entities need help of this expert to find a broad spectrum of assets including vehicles, land, boats, partnership and corporate interest as well as other investments of individuals and business entities. These might be difficult to find if one has not undergone professional training.

Essence of hiring experts to conduct your financial investigation

If you feel that you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud, financial investigation can assist you in finding out the truth. There are cases when this investigation can assist you in recovering some of the money that you may have lost. In most cases, this investigation recover bank accounts and asset while providing proof that can be used in legal actions.

You need help from expert with your financial investigation because you may not know how to sweep for electronic bugs which may hinder proper investigations. Hidden listening devices and spy cameras in homes and offices can be used to identify you while conducting your investigation. Eavesdropping devices provide the persons and institutions that you might be investigating with private and confidential information enabling them to hide the facts that you might be looking for.

Experts who conduct private financial investigation know how to sweep for such bugs to ensure that they are not discovered that they are conducting investigations. This enables them to uncover facts that can be used against the entities that engage in fraud as well as the hidden assets and other financial information that you might be looking for.

Therefore, if you are thinking of engaging in a financial investigation, enlist the service of an experienced professional. Hire a company that has been conducting financial investigation for a long time to ensure that you have all the financial information that you need delivered on time.


A professional financial investigator can help you find all the financial information you need if you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud. Visit for more information.

Hire Experts to Conduct Employee Background Checks on Your Behalf

When involved in a dispute, you need information that will enable you to prove your case in a court of law. Whether as an individual or a corporate entity, information and facts are vital in proving a case. Such information may include employee background checks, assets information and data of hidden transactions. In most cases, the challenge is always finding this information and that is where services of professional investigators come in.

You need able investigators to find vital information

Background and assets investigations are not easy to conduct. They require due diligence of experienced investigators. If you want to hire an employee or if you are trying to uncover some truths about them, you must conduct thorough background check. Experienced investigators will conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations on your behalf once you hire them.

Some employees such as board members and high level executives are hard to investigate. However, professional investigators know how to gather all the necessary information about them without being caught. They work with key vendors and strategic partners to uncover all the hidden secrets that you might be looking for about such employees.

Enlist Services of committed investigators

Whether you want to achieve the best in your judicial judgment recovery process or to uncover a fraud, you should hire experts who are committed to their work. Committed professionals conduct their investigations tactfully while adhering to the established state laws and regulations. Additionally, they present the results of their investigations in a concise, user-friendly and clear manner. Thus, you can easily use the results of the investigations for your intended purpose.

Sometimes, you may need footage of video surveillance in San Diego to proof your case. Committed experts work with knowledgeable and experienced specialists to provide you with all the information that you need. This enables you to discover all the issues that will serve as the evidence that you might be looking for.

Make investigations easy and fast

Since the best professional investigators are experienced specialists, they will deliver the results of an investigation with ease and within a short period. They will also deliver comprehensive information of the investigations with details that you may not unearth on your own. This implies that you will not have to conduct further investigations once you get their report.

Therefore, whether you are involved in a judicial recovery process or you need information about the employees’ background, hire experienced investigators to save time and to get all the information that you need with ease.


Conducting investigations such as employee background checks can be really difficult if you opt to do it alone.

How to Discover Hidden Assets in Divorce With Financial Investigations

It’s no secret that getting divorced can be a major headache. With all of the court dates, paperwork, and hoops to jump through, it’s too easy to leave money on the table. Unfortunately, hidden assets aren’t entirely uncommon in divorce situations. Some spouses will hide money so they won’t have to share with their ex, […]

How to Protect your business from Corporate Espionage With TSCM

Although corporate espionage seems like something that you’d only experience at the movies, it’s a very real situation and can cost corporations big bucks. Corporate espionage involves the illegal practice of spying on competitors in order to gain a business edge. Competitors can attempt to tap into your private conversations to gain access to trade secrets and other sensitive information, leaving your business vulnerable and at risk for losing money.

The good news is that TSCM—technical surveillance countermeasures—can protect your company from corporate espionage. If your company has any form of sensitive information that would cause financial damage if discovered by a competitor, you are at risk for corporate espionage. Able Legal Investigations can help protect your corporation with the following TSCM strategies:

Electromagnetic Spectrum Sweep

In order to detect any sort of hidden camera, audio equipment, or other spy devices, Able Legal Investigations will perform an electromagnetic spectrum sweep. This process will isolate free space transmissions in order to detect attempts of corporate espionage. The sweep will also activate any existing devices, such as voice-actuated transmitters, and will signal your private investigator that a device is on the scene.

Other attempts of corporate espionage include tapping into telephone lines. Able Legal Investigations is able to detect corporate espionage via telephone lines by testing with a balanced audio coupler telephone analyzer. The purpose is to test for abnormal line voltages that indicate attempts of corporate espionage at your business.

Why is TSCM Effective For Protecting Against Corporate Espionage?

TSCM helps protect against corporate espionage due its sophisticated technology in detecting unwanted devices. When devices can be turned off remotely, basic detection devices might not be able to detect audio equipment, etc. However, TSCM is able to detect corporate espionage devices even if they are turned off. Able Legal Investigations can detect these devices by using a Non Linear Junction Detector, which can help detect electronic devices in offices in places where you wouldn’t expect.

Aside from NLJD devices, TSCM is also effective in detecting attempts at corporate espionage by using heat technology. Heat has the ability to point to potential power supplies of undetected electronic devices, which is used by scanning an office with a thermal imager.

Staying on Top of Corporate Espionage Attempts With TSCM

Even if your office is clear of devices that are used with corporate espionage, it’s important to remember that each sweep portrays a scenario during an exact point in time. If your business is particularly vulnerable and at risk for corporate espionage, you might want to consider doing regular sweeps to ensure that your office stays clean of devices. While TSCM is highly effective at detecting a variety of devices, it is only able to detect devices during the timeframe that it’s being used. If devices are installed around your office after the sweep was performed, you won’t be able to detect devices unless you perform another sweep down the road.

Detecting Hidden Devices, Hidden Assets, And More

Able Legal Investigations specializes in assisting corporations in detecting hidden devices with corporate espionage, hidden assets, and more. Please explore our full range of services and contact us for professional assistance with TSCM and protecting your business’ sensitive information.

A Surveillance Primer by a San Diego Private Investigator

Technological developments in this century have rendered the most private conversations of American citizens vulnerable to interception and monitoring by government agents. The electronic means by which the Government can extend its “antennae” are varied: microphones may be secretly planted in private locations or on mobile informants; so-called “spike mikes” may be inserted into the wall of an adjoining room; and parabolic microphones may be directed at speakers far away to register the sound waves they emit. Telephone conversations may be overheard without the necessity of attaching electronic devices to the telephone itself or to the lines connecting the telephone with the telephone company. An ordinary telephone may also be turned into an open microphone — a “miketel” capable of intercepting all conversations within hearing range even when the telephone is not in use. Even more sophisticated technology permits the Government to intercept any telephone, telegram, or telex communication which is transmitted at least partially through the air, as most such communications now are. This type of interception is virtually undetectable and does not require the cooperation of private communications companies. Techniques such as these have been used, and continue to be used, by intelligence agencies in their intelligence operations. Since the early part of this century the FBI has utilized wiretapping and “bugging” techniques in both criminal and intelligence investigations. In a single year alone (1945), the Bureau conducted 519 wiretaps and 186 microphone surveillances (excluding those conducted by means of microphones planted on informants). 1 Until 1972, the Bureau used wiretaps and bugs against both American citizens and foreigners within the United States — without judicial warrant — to collect foreign intelligence, intelligence and counterintelligence information, to monitor “subversive” and violent activity, and to determine the sources of leaks of classified information. The FBI still uses these techniques without a warrant in foreign intelligence and counterintelligence investigations.

What is needed to Discover Hidden Assets in a Divorce With Financial Investigations

It’s no secret that getting divorced can be a major headache. With all of the court dates, paperwork, and hoops to jump through, it’s too easy to leave money on the table. Unfortunately, hidden assets aren’t entirely uncommon in divorce situations. Some spouses will hide money so they won’t have to share with their ex, but luckily there are techniques you can use to unveil any assets that your spouse might be hiding.

Where to Begin Uncovering Hidden Assets

One of easiest (and most obvious) ways to begin your investigation is by simply asking your spouse for all of their financial records. Unfortunately, an unwilling spouse can make this situation complicated. When a spouse refuses to provide financial documentation, it’s a red flag that they are hiding money.

Dealing with an uncooperative spouse will require the assistance of a financial investigation professional, such as Able Forensics. Able Forensics has resources to help you unveil hidden money that your spouse might be hiding—and these techniques won’t be available to the average citizen.

How Able Forensics Helps Discover Hidden Assets During Divorce

After you’ve made an attempt to ask your spouse for financial documents without success, it’s time to make a call to Able Forensics. From there, Able Forensics will go through a discovery process to help you find assets that are rightfully yours.

There are numerous methods to obtain financial information. Some of the techniques that Able Forensics might use during financial investigations are:

Reviewing of tax returns. Some spouses may claim to hide assets such as real estate, which can often be discovered by reviewing of tax returns. However, this will lonely show if those assets are being report to the state or federal government, but most property records are free to the public to view. Knowing where to look for hidden assets is a big part of the battle, and Able Forensics leaves no stone unturned.

Reviewing browser history. While it might seem obvious, reviewing browser history can reveal information such as a new bank account or investment brokerage account name.

Social media can sometimes tip off new business ventures. For example, an overzealous spouse can announce a new business launch on LinkedIn, but fail to mention anything to their partner. Furthermore, a spouse can even claim that they are short on funds, yet Facebook photos show that they’re vacationing in the tropics.

The Consequences of Hiding Assets

If you’re on the other side of the coin and are attempting to hide assets, you might want to think twice. While it’s entirely possible to get away with hiding money, getting caught can get you into quite a bit of trouble. A judge may force you to pay more support to your spouse than initially owed, simply as a consequence of attempting to hide money. In some states, you can even be arrested for very serious attempts at hiding assets.

The best course of action is to be honest with your spouse and your earnings.

Contact Able Legal Investigations For Asset Searches in Divorce and More

If you need assistance with uncovering hidden assets during your divorce, Able Legal Investigations can help with your investigation. Contact us today to learn more at 866-302-2366.

Hidden Camera Detection

Have you ever felt like someone was watching? There’s a chance that you might be right. Hidden cameras can be installed in the most surprising places, and they’re mostly used to spy or even tap into secret conversations if audio is installed. Whether you’re a person or a business, you might be wondering how to detect a hidden camera that might be placed in your home or office. The good news is that Able Legal Investigations is highly trained on finding hidden cameras, and you’ll easily be able to find any devices with our help.

Hidden Camera Detectors

If you’re looking for a hidden camera in your home or business, there are devices that are specifically made to detect cameras. However, not all hidden camera detectors are created equal. Some hidden camera detectors only have the ability to detect cameras within a 10-foot radius. Other hidden camera detectors can find hidden cameras that are further away, but the price of these detectors are often higher.

Hidden camera detectors aren’t complicated to use in theory, but it’s easy to miss signals if you don’t know what to look for. With most hidden camera detectors, you simply look through the lens, hitting a button that emits red light. The red light will reflect off of any camera lens that is detected and will appear inside of the lens of flares of red when a camera is detected.

The Problem With Hidden Camera Detectors

While hidden camera detectors are relatively easy to use, you can miss the detection of a hidden camera if you don’t have the right angle. Professional private investigators, such as those at Able Legal Investigations, are skilled in finding hidden cameras regardless of obscure angles or hiding places.

The other downside is that you don’t always know the exact places to look for hidden cameras. People who are hiding hidden cameras can be quite innovative and strategic with the camera’s placement, although there are several common places you can look and possible find a hidden camera.

How to Detect a Hidden Camera: Common Hiding Places

Detecting a hidden camera becomes a lot easier when you know where to look for one in the first place. There are many areas around a home that you can look to find a hidden camera, including:

  • Vents
  • Curtain rods
  • Nightstands
  • TV sets
  • Bookshelves
  • Toys
  • Lamps
  • Home decor
  • Clocks

The bad news is that some hidden cameras are designed to look like everyday household objects, such as coffee mugs. It can be tough to detect hidden cameras that are built into household items, since most people won’t think to look there in the first place.

Do You Need to Learn How to Detect a Hidden Camera?

If you need to know how to detect a hidden camera, your best course of action is to contact the professionals at Able Legal Investigations . Although there are hidden camera detectors and even smartphone apps that can detect hidden cameras, they aren’t necessarily foolproof. Contact us to learn how to detect a hidden camera and get to the bottom of your investigative needs.

Able Legal Investigations, Inc.

The information contained on this website should never be taken as legal advice.

Please contact our office for all of your investigative needs. If we are not able to assist you with your specific needs, we will help find an investigator who can.

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