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Husband flees in high-asset divorce case

Florida readers may be following media coverage of a high-profile divorce that has shocked many within the American financial industry. The case centers on the former Chairman of a major metropolitan Board of Trade and his estranged wife. The two have been embroiled in a long running divorce battle, which has now spilled over into criminal charges.

The 76-year old man has failed to appear at several recent hearings. His wife, 56, told the court that her husband had significant investments in shell corporations and offshore accounts. This spring, the court ordered the man to refrain from moving any funds out of the state.

This move may have come too late, as documents suggest that the man was able to transfer as much as $13 million to an account in Switzerland just days prior to that order. As it stands now, his whereabouts are unknown, although he has told reporters that he resides in Europe and is an Italian citizen. It is unclear how he plans to address the more than $18 million owed to his former wife after their divorce was recently made final.

While most Florida divorce cases involve far fewer assets, this story is illustrative of the lengths to which some spouses will go in order to avoid having to share marital assets with their spouse. The vast majority of spouses lack the finances or connections needed to flee the country and set up citizenship elsewhere. However, many divorce cases involve hidden assets and financial indiscretions on a far smaller scale. When moving through a divorce, it is important to ensure that there is proper legal oversight that can protect one's interests, no matter the scale of wealth involved.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Longtime Board of Trade chairman fled overseas in divorce fight, ex-wife's lawyers say, Cynthia Dizikes, Oct. 9, 2013

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