Part of the process of filing for divorce is creating a list of marital and individual assets. Ideally, the spouses and their lawyers can look at the list and draft a fair and equitable arrangement. While it may be tempting for one side to try to withhold “their money” because “they earned it,” it is a mistake that cause a serious problems for those who are caught.
A University of Minnesota professor made the news after being convicted for trying to hide retirement assets. The man, 57, was charged after providing several forged papers to his ex-wife that reduced the value of his retirement account to $745,012. He also omitted the existence of a second retirement account. After his ex-wife notified the police and her lawyer subpoenaed the financial organization in charge of the account, the actual amount in the accounts was determined to be $891,116. According to the local newspaper, the wife would have lost an estimated $353,649.
The professor is scheduled to be sentenced November 9 and he is looking at potential jail time for one count of theft by attempting to swindle over $35,000 and two counts of aggravated forgery. The prosecution is citing several aggravating factors as grounds for a sentence that is more stringent than state guidelines normally recommend.
Smart people still get caught
With the university since 2003, the high-ranking professor was head of the school’s Technological Leadership Institute. He is an electrical and computer engineering expert who had previously worked for NASA, Boeing, McConnell Douglas as well as the departments of Defense and Energy. Nevertheless, he could not outsmart law enforcement or his wife and her attorney. Long range repercussions
A spokesperson for the school says that it is monitoring the case. Along potential time behind bars, the man has likely derailed his career and may even have to give more money than he otherwise would if he’d just paid the right amount.
If you have financial concerns regarding an upcoming divorce, it is wise to discuss legal options with a family law attorney. Not only can they help clients divide marital assets, they are a real asset themselves when the other party is not acting in good faith.