The ultra-rich have an easy time creating shell companies, or coming up with other clever schemes to avoid paying taxes. However, they also cannot help themselves from posting their illegally acquired assets on social media. So the authorities are taking advantage of this slip-up by using the pictures as evidence in court. Evidence taken from social media accounts is now used in up to 75% of litigation cases, according to leading cybersecurity firms — many images having been taken from the Instagram and Twitter accounts of the multi-millionaires’ offspring. Oisín Fouere, managing director of K2 Intelligence, has described social media as their “first port of call” for an increasing frequency of billionaire asset disputes, according to The Guardian. Because why go anywhere else when people are willingly posting their illegally acquires assets in one place online.
One such case, Andrew Beckett, managing director of cybersecurity and investigations at Kroll, detailed the investigation of a divorce case in which a millionaire claimed not to have the $30 million he was ordered to pay. “We monitored social media, particularly for his children, who were in their 20s, and found a lot of posts from the same geo-tagged sites,” said Beckett. “Cross-referencing that with land registry and other similar bodies overseas, we found half a dozen properties that were registered in the name of this person. “We were able to go to the court with a list of assets that we conservatively estimated at $60m, which the court then seized until he settled the amount that had been ordered.” Likewise, bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was forced to explain to the court the circumstances a photo posted on Instagram, featuring himself and stacks of $100 bills in a photo while claiming to be in debt at the same time.
Lesson, don’t post things on social media you do not want to explain further.