Recoup handling civil fraud

The lawyers at Recoup are regularly appointed by the court as bankruptcy trustees in complex and often fraudulent bankruptcies. They are also hired by aggrieved parties, trustees, companies and researchers to tackle fraud by use of civil or criminal law.

Recoup has developed an effective approach to tackling fraud. They work together with forensic accountants, IT specialists, ex-FIOD (The Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service) employees, business researchers and international experts. The main goal is to recover the fraudulently diverted assets and to impose a director disqualification and/or a disqualification from other professions.

This approach involves asset tracing, regularity audits, a debt recovery investigation and liability claims against directors, frauds and facilitators of fraud. All possible lawful means are deployed to this effect. The bankruptcy trustee had several means to gain as much information as possible about committed fraud, including: (i) the right to enter residential properties and business premises, (ii) remand in custody in order to enforce the duty to inform, (iii) hearing by the delegated judge, (iv) passport alerts, (v) disclosure of proceedings abroad, etc. Furthermore, the Employee Insurance Agency (In Dutch: UWV), the tax authorities and if necessary, the police, the FIOD (the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service) and the Public Prosecution Service can and will be involved in order to secure information and cooperation.

In addition, our experience shows that criminal proceedings against a suspect of fraud can be useful for the aggrieved parties, i.e. creditors, as well. For example the possibility for an aggrieved party to join the proceedings can be very useful to obtain damages, mainly because in that case the party is also entitled to confiscated items by the Public Prosecution Service.

Furthermore, we will keep a keen eye on whether or not the (future) bankruptcy trustee makes unjustified accusations against the directors, the members of the supervisory board or the shareholders of a company. If accusations are to be made, the lawyers of Recoup will explain these accusations and assist in consultations with the trustee. This requires solid preparation and careful and open communication with the trustee based on trust. This approach is inspired by the fact that Recoup itself acts as a critical trustee in bankruptcy proceedings. Our lawyers therefore stay in close contact with fellow trustees.

If financing is necessary, all options are examined. Positive experiences have been had with the statutory guarantees with respect to bankruptcy trustees, creditor financing and financing by the tax authorities. There are possibilities for private financing as well.

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