Doctor who hid assets from ex-wife faces criminal charges

The divorce process can be arduous and complex for any couple. For those couples of considerable wealth, however, divorce is often more complicated and, in some cases, contentious. In high net worth divorces, matters related to the value and ownership of properties, businesses and investments must often be decided. In many cases, arguments over the rights to these types of investments and assets occur which can lead to lengthy court battles.

In other cases, a spouse who wants to retain more wealth may attempt to hide assets or undervalue assets. One recent case in which a husband attempted to hide assets from his soon-to-be ex-wife, involves a 64-year-old doctor who is accused of literally going to great lengths to hide assets from his ex-wife.

The 64-year-old plastic surgeon was recently indicted on seven counts of federal wire fraud and, if convicted, could spend years in prison and incur hefty penalties and fines. The doctor and his ex-wife were married for 28 years and lived in Alaska. According to court documents, the doctor's wife filed for divorce in 2007. Shortly thereafter, the doctor is accused of traveling to the country of Panama with more than $3 million dollars in cashiers checks.

Once in Panama, the 64-year-old is accused of attempting to hide the assets by setting up fraudulent business entities and bank accounts. Meanwhile, as the couple's divorce proceeded, the doctor's ex-wife had no access to any of the couple's assets. As a result, she was not able to afford legal representation during the divorce proceedings.

In 2011, investigators seized more than $4.6 million dollars from the fraudulent accounts as the doctor once again attempted to hide the assets. He currently faces criminal charges related to his illegal actions. It's currently not clear what claim, if any, if ex-wife will have to the millions of dollars the doctor attempted to hide.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage surgeon indicted for hiding millions in divorce," Richard Mauer, Sep. 20, 2013

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