Private Investigators and Due Diligence in Corporate Judgments
For many companies, filing a lawsuit may be the most beneficial way to resolve a dispute. Before going through the trouble of suing a company, it is important that you know as much as possible about their available assets. Many businesses might not have the resources needed to pay a settlement in full, or are dishonest about the value of their property. Even if a judge rules in your favor, they cannot collect the settlement from the opposing entity. Hiring a licensed private investigator to conduct a due diligence investigation of a corporation’s assets can help a company decide if a lawsuit will be worth it.
When Should an Asset Search Occur?
Typically, a due diligence investigation of a company’s assets should take place before pursuing a lawsuit. Taking a corporation to court is both time-consuming and expensive, especially when corporate litigation exceeds $500k. If the defendant doesn’t have valuable assets, companies can end up spending much more than what they receive from a case. Knowing beforehand what a company is worth can also help companies reach an agreement. If a negotiation is reached, the companies involved can avoid paying thousands of dollars in legal fees.
After a judgment has been made, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to collect the settled amount. In some cases, the judgment debtor might not be completely honest when disclosing their assets. Companies will go through great lengths to hide property or wire money that they don’t want to give up. If these illegal activities go undetected, judgments may never get collected. A qualified private investigator can uncover these discrepancies and ensure that the settled amount will be paid.
What does an Asset Search Look for?
Corporations that are at risk of losing a substantial amount of money will often utilize overseas accounts or businesses. Many countries have different laws regarding corporations and the United States has no jurisdiction in those regions. A due diligence investigation of a corporation’s assets can uncover wired money or hidden property that is located both in the United States and in other countries. These types of searches are very specific and may require several techniques, some of which include an analysis of:
- Bank accounts
- All locations of the corporation
- On-site assets such as machinery and equipment
- Vendors, suppliers, and financial institutions
- Names of corporate officers and associates
- Credit and payment statements spanning 12-36 months
Selecting the Right Investigator:
Pursuing a lawsuit and the accompanying investigation can be costly, so it is important to select a firm that will yield the best results. Many web-based investigative services claim to assist companies in asset searches, but won’t look further than public records that are easily available online.
Lauth Investigations International has developed LII Xact Asset Analysis (™) specifically for conducting comprehensive due diligence asset investigations.
Their investigators provide services of all types, including:
- Pre-litigation Research
- Determine Liquidity
- Pierce The Corporate Veil
- Mergers & Acquisitions Due Diligence
- Finding Illiquid Buyers
- Creditors Rights Lawyers
- Fortune 500 Businesses
All companies, big and small, can benefit from hiring a licensed investigator to conduct a comprehensive asset search. Over the past 20 years, Lauth has helped companies legally expose millions of dollars in hidden assets.