Introduction: Today’s article is not a question and answer session. Instead, we
talk about the recent scandal surrounding the Taiwanese President Chen
Shui-Bian and how our office deals with cases regarding fraud and theft
Facts: President Chen Shui-Bian is accused of embezzling hundreds of millions
of dollars. It is unknown specifically how much he has taken. What is
more worrisome is that it is believed that he has already transferred
most if not all of the money to third parties. The country is in a state
of confusion. Even if President Chen is successfully locked up and proven
that he stole money will any of the monies be returned?
Answer: Our office is very successful in obtaining good results for clients that
have been defrauded. Many people, including other attorneys, have had
me lecture on how and why we have been able to succeed against defendants
that have had well-heeled attorneys.
The answer is simple. The following steps we use are not difficult in concept.
In fact, so many people are surprised how successful our firm can be using
such simple actions. However, follow the steps I state and your attorney
should be able to easily win your case.
Step #1: Organize your documentation. We are very lucky that our office is in a
position to be selective about cases that we represent. It is my belief
however, that many cases are rejected not because they are not meritorious.
It is because the people that come to us have not organized their case
so that our office can give a proper analysis for overall probability
Step #2: Do a background check. Recently, I was approached by a good friend who
is a reporter dealing with the case of Chen Shui-Bian. She told me that
the Taiwanese government is having a difficult time because they believe
that much of the money taken has gone to Chen’s child, who lives
in the United States. Upon doing research at my office I noticed that
Chen’s son’s last name pulls up about 10 different homes within
California alone. I am sure that pulling other family members and friends
of Chen Shui-Bian will result in similar circumstances.
Usually, when a person steals money they do not keep it under their name.
However, they also keep their money close, meaning they put into relatives’
names or close friends. In this case, it is my belief that throughout
the United States President Chen has used his family and close friends
to hide assets that belong to the people of Taiwan.
Similarly, anyone that is attempting to get back money from a person that
has defrauded should use a background check so that they can find out
if there is a possibility that money taken could possibly be with those
near him. As such, I recommend anyone in a position where they have been
defrauded to contact an attorney to find out the assets of family members.
Step #3: Do not focus your litigation against the fraudulent person solely, but
instead affect those he cares about.
I find that the more money someone has taken the more they are willing
to sit it jail to allow their family members and close friends to enjoy
it. However, no one desires to hurt those they care about. As such, I
always recommend that if there is a hint that any stolen money has gone
to third parties that you bring them into the lawsuit. If you later find
that indeed they have not taken any money, you are well within your right
to dismiss them.
Why would one want to do this? It is because no pressure is greater than
family members and close friends. What is worse, having a person you do
not care about sue you or having a person you do not care about sue you
and everyone around you (ex. Your daughter in college, your grandmother
in another state) so that everyone is affected.
Step #4: Use a Lis Pendens to lock up property. A lis pendens is a legal remedy
that allows one to lock up property if it is the subject of dispute. What
a lis pendens does is notify the entire world that if they intend to purchase
property then they will buy subject to a pending dispute. The result would
be that the property owner will not only be able to sell the property,
they will also not be able to obtain any loans on it as well.
Step #5: Use an injunction to freeze other assets. An injunction is a request to
the judge to prevent the defendant from doing something. In this case,
one would ask the judge to freeze all assets of the defendant and those
around him so that they can no longer embezzle money. If a defendant and
those close to him can no longer have access to ready money, it will encourage
the defendants to settle much quicker with the plaintiff.
Step #6: Look for the right type of attorney. People that are not willing to pay
their attorneys for working these types of cases can expect never to get
back any money. Fraud cases are not like car accidents. Unlike personal
injury attorneys that have 1000’s cases at a time, attorneys that
work on cases like this only take on 50-100. What that means is if you
want an attorney to take on the case on a contingency you can fully expect
to obtain little or nothing back.
Step #7: Do not pity your enemy. Many people that come into our office suddenly
have a crisis in that they feel we are too aggressive with the defendant.
Many of you know our office to be the ones that sued a well-known actor/singer
for defrauding our client of monies she invested in a beauty parlor. In
our initial investigation we found that the singer not only defrauded
our client’s money but his mother and father in law were also involved
in the embezzling as well. Prior to filing the case, I made sure to tell
my client that she must not feel sorry for the defendant. Fortunately,
for us, the plaintiff felt the same way. In the middle of the litigation,
instead of proving that the defendant did not nothing wrong, the defendant’s
attorney said that our office was abusing our authority because the father
in law was in his 80’s. Obviously, age is a poor excuse for doing
something wrong. However, if the plaintiff is not strong in their belief
of injury, they may cave in, and decide to drop the lawsuit.
Step #8: Do not be afraid to go to trial. So many attorneys have never gone to
trial. Some studies show that 97% of cases settle. Most cases settle because
attorneys are too scared to put their case before a jury. Indeed, if the
case has progressed to a point where trial is imminent and if the defendant
is so stupid that they believe they can win, try the case. If your case
is meritorious juries in the United States do not look highly on those
that steal from innocent people.
Conclusion: It is my hope that those that read this article can use this in instructing
their attorney on how to run litigation. It is unfortunate that so many
attorneys refuse to be aggressive. Best of luck to those facing this issue.