So, can a client come to a private investigator and request bank information on someone else for a case? Such as finding a hidden asset.
Update Jan 2, 2017 :
Fox Investigations can and will search for bank assets for clients that are involved in a case that involves any type of fraud. We will not acquire bank records just so you know what someone has. If you have a case where you have been embezzled money or a similar situation then we are more than happy to investigate those claims for you. I will always work hard to ensure my clients get the peace of mind they deserve and get their hard earned money back.
PLEASE NOTE: That as we can definitely investigate these claims, the results WILL NOT be released to the client until both company invoice has been paid and a court order is provided to follow all current laws.
Yes it IS possible to get it legally, but not easily.
As per the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which prohibits financial institutions from disclosing bank records or account information about individual customers to governmental agencies without:
1) the customer’s consent,
2) a court order,
4) search warrant, or
5) other formal demand, with limited exceptions.
Fox Investigations can investigate and acquire bank records on an individual or series of individuals for a client. Usually I will conduct a search on my subject and if it looks like I come across some good accounts at my clients suspicion I let my client know. From that point the client must obtain a court order for me in order to release that information for them for use in court. Just to be clear, there are many agreements and disclaimers signed to ensure everyone stays within the legal boundaries. My clients interests and protection is always in priority for me.
If a private investigator claims they can get this type of information for you, which there are plenty out there. Just know that obtaining banking or financial details without specific authority is against federal and state statutes. This means that it will not hold up in any court case that would benefit the client.
A private investigator may either have a connection within a banking system or claim they can obtain the information through a method called pre-texting (getting the information through false pretenses i.e. pretending to be someone you're not). Which pre-texting does have it's legal uses in finding out other information, it cannot be used in obtaining financial information about a client.
The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act protects citizens by imposing strict penalties to anyone that obtains information about a third-party account by means of pretexting.
So it is possible a private investigator can get bank account information, but it is not an easy task. Getting a subpoena can be a lengthy process if the case demands are short, not to mention the time it takes to get the financial institution to verify and deliver the information. Then ultimately, support litigation for court.
If you decide to hire someone on your behalf to obtain this information, even if it is done illegally. When you are asked to testify as to how the information was obtained, not only will the evidence be thrown out, but there will be legal implications against the private investigator and the client whom hired them.
If a private investigator still claims they can find these hidden assets and bank accounts for you, also consider that some unethical private investigators charge clients to find "hidden assets" that don't exist overseas. Here is an article about a PI who charged clients thousands of dollars by faking hidden asset bank documents.