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Archive for the ‘The Case of the Disappearing Money’ Category

#truecrime The Case of the Disappearing Money

Posted by Writing PIs on June 15, 2011

Coins and paper money public domain

Several years back, a probate lawyer hired us to investigate a family’s trust fund from which money had been “disappearing.” In the below review of this case, we discuss our investigative goals & tasks, unforeseen glitches and the end result.

The Case of the Disappearing Money

Investigation Goal

An attorney who specializes in probate, elder law, and estate planning/administration asked our investigations agency to investigate what had happened to the money that disappeared from a family’s trust fund.  The family already suspected a specific member.

Investigation Tasks

Our investigations on the suspected family member included the following tasks:

  • Researching public records for significant purchases for land, cars and other high-price-tag items.
  • Researching purchases made by the suspect’s daughter and son-in-law.  Our investigation revealed that the son-in-law had come unexpectedly into large amounts of money that he had used to fund large purchases, one being a new home.
  • Checking records in the assessor’s and clerk of recorder’s offices.  We learned the suspected family member had acquired an interest in a pricey downtown condo.
  • Surveilling the suspected family member.  Although she claimed to be unemployed, we discovered she suddenly had sufficient amounts of money to attend a university full time.
  • Investigating suspected family’s member’s claim that she occasionally babysat for another family member to earn some money.  Our investigations, including surveillance, showed she never conducted any babysitting, and that the children in question were enrolled in a daycare that the suspected family member had no ties to.

Unforeseen Glitches

The object of our investigations learned from another family member that private investigators were watching. Therefore, the suspect became cautious, and spent a lot of time looking around the corner whenever they left the house.  Too bad that they left so much evidence in public records regarding their acquisitions using family money.

End Result

The lawyer applied for a court order forfeiting the ill-gotten property back to the deceased person’s estate. In other words, the pricey downtown condo was taken over by the family members who had been ripped off.

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority. Other images are licensed by Colleen Collins, and are not to be copied, pasted, distributed or otherwise used.

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