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Anderson Case - Do Asset Protection Trust Work?

By Rob Lambert

Have you ever heard of the Andersons?  If not, they were the people who swiped tens of millions from little old ladies in a ponzi scheme.  They managed to ferret away a little more than $6.3 million of their ill gotten gains into an asset protection trust in the Cook Islands.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued these lowlifes and secured a $20 million dollar judgment against them.  As part of this process the Andersons spent 6 months in jail for contempt because they made the mistake of retaining the power to remove the trustee and repatriate the stolen funds.  When they refused to repatriate the funds the judge decided it was pokey time.

Recently, the Anderson's settled with the FTC for $1.2 million.  The FTC dismissed their claims including the $20 million judgment.  When the dust settled, the FTC judgment and other charges are gone for about 6 cents on the dollar.  The Andersons managed to keep over $5 million of their ill gotten gains.  Sad but true, this tale demonstrates that asset protection works even when done poorly for bad people.  If anyone has the time to do a freedom of information request, I suspect that they will find out that the FTC wasted more than $10 million of taxpayer's money trying to recover from the Andersons and set an example.

There is one good thing: I haven't gotten any more emails telling me that asset protection trusts are dead and that asset protection doesn't work.  None of the fancy experts who made these claims even took me up on my $10,000 bet that the Andersons would keep their dirty money.  I hate the result, because it is wrong for these crooks to keep their money.  But, I do love the outcome: Asset Protection is alive and Well.

Just imagine how well a properly done plan works when attached by a normal civil litigant (rather than the FTC will a nearly unlimited budget).  In 16 years, I have been doing nothing else but asset protection plans.  I have never had a client lose even a single penny of protected funds.  Now the Anderson case is finally over I can finally shout: IT WORKS...REALLY.  Anybody with anything to lose should be protected:PERIOD.  To not be is just playing Russian roulette with your hard earned savings.