Asset Recovery

Companies with legal personality distinguish the staff members and shareholders from the company itself. Financial services are needed to engage in the corporate activities. Even holding companies and dormant entities hold bank accounts to remain operational. Corporate structures in jurisdictions like Belize separate ownership and control from the legal person. As such, the company owns the corporate assets and bank account. The ultimate beneficial owner of the company may preserve a claim against the company. This is crucial to apprehend in case of loss of money via bank failure, investment fraud or other acts that restrict access to the corporate property.  

The offshore financial industry is distinct from traditional jurisdictions for international businesses. Therefore, services are best obtained from foreign institutions with industry experience. Financial institutions, such as banks and electronic money institutions, are scrutinized by its respective regulators. Their imposed position as gatekeeper of the financial system shifts the control function away from regulators and intelligence agencies and turns banks into the police of the financial system. Disobedience and failure to comply to the rules potentially sanctions the bank or financial institution.

Loss of and limited access to corporate assets can have several underlying reasons. These reasons for such failure are mostly triggered by deliberate conduct, third party intervention after regulatory violations, accidental failures, and bad management. Wrongdoing is not always intentional and restrictions to access corporate assets considered a civil infringement of the contract between a financial institution and its customer. For Belize Asset Recovery these restrictions to freely use the corporate assets include bank accounts, investment portfolios and other tangible and intangible properties.

Financial institutions are considered gatekeepers of the financial system. Several international organizations and local regulators follow special recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force. These recommendations mainly focus on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. Alongside these AML-CTF controls, several other measures are effective. For example, the US Dollar is considered the global reserve currency. As such, the United States Treasury Department assumes control and jurisdiction over all transactions in US Dollars. Its designated bureau, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), may designate a foreign financial institution as an institution of primary money laundering concern.

Offshore asset recovery depends on the complex positions of the debtor and creditor. It often involves transactions beyond national borders. As such, several asset recovery options must be considered. These include dispute resolution, (out of court) settlements, criminal convictions with civil restitutions, non-conviction based confiscation, civil actions, and traditional recovery by corporate liquidation.  

Recently, a lot of Belize offshore companies and International Business Corporations have been victimized by international bank failure and sophisticated cross-border investment frauds. The scope and nature of these events, that often involve different jurisdictions and legal systems, are difficult, time-consuming and lengthy. Without additional efforts and a reactive approach, alleged victims are surrendered to public measures with often lengthy procedures and disappointing outcomes.

Belize Asset Recovery

Bank account closure, or even worse a refusal to return the account balance, often comes as a total surprise for Belize offshore companies and their beneficiaries. What initially seems to be a fast administrative approach to unlock the account and transfer the balance, may become a procedural nightmare over time.

Regulatory intervention that results in temporary or permanent closure of a financial institution is the most difficult and time-consuming act in the asset recovery process. In such bank failures, financial institutions are placed under resolution and a special administrator is appointed. The special administrator ensures that illicit money flows are blocked, and shareholders are unable to funnel assets outside the control of the future liquidator. Depositors and other creditors are also unable to access and use their account.

In bank failure, Belize offshore companies and International Business Corporations with bank deposits hold a direct claim against the bank following the contractual agreement between the bank and its customer. Beneficial owners of the Belize company may have a claim against their company, and not against the bank. As such, the company that holds the bank account should initiate legal proceedings to speed up the asset recovery process.

Depositors and other creditors in bank failure often do not realize that asset recovery results in a unique and one-off repayment. In case of insolvency, financial institutions are unable to repay its full and outstanding debts. As such, all creditors, including your Belize offshore company have only one chance to get their assets returned. Therefore, if you and your Belize company are involved in unforeseen bank (account) closures, you need to make a steady plan!

Belize offshore companies and beneficiaries who fear that their own actions might not deliver the desired results, can contact Legal Floris LLC via the contact form below. Most of our customers with Anguilla offshore companies are metaphorically ‘too large for the napkin and too small for the tablecloth’. Their outstanding credit is too large to ignore. They cannot afford to work with a generalist whilst unable to retain the high ticket firms and top notch lawyers to solve their problem. That is why they need a specialist. Our extensive education and experience in the offshore financial industry is complemented with a proven track record in asset and fund recovery.

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