BY ANDY KAY
After over 30 years of combined investigations at the state and federal level, as well as founding and running Kay and Associates Investigations, Andy Kay is one of the premier experts in the field of protecting your privacy and assets.
I’m going to start this off with something that may come across as bragging but is important to our conversation: I have been a consultant for major businesses, celebrities, and even attorneys when it comes to protecting privacy and assets. In a world where certificates and diplomas precede why someone is worth taking advice from, I run a business where street smarts, life experience and instincts are what make someone worth hiring. But my degrees and certifications only opened the doors to working with the California AG right out of college. And during my period working with law enforcement, on both state and federal task forces, part of my job was locating hidden assets. Years of this experience and training helped me develop my tactics today.
There are many reasons people hire me to consult with them regarding assets. For example, I may be retained to keep them from cross contaminating liability in real property; I get hired to keep celebrities from being found by crazed fans or other private investigators. We spend a great deal of time finding people and their assets, and so we became the sought-out company in preventing that from happening.
A large amount of the calls we get are requests for security and privacy protection. This goes beyond celebrity bodyguards. It encompasses normal people working normal jobs that want to safeguard their families and property.
Who would want to find you?
· Collections agencies
· Persons from your past you no longer want communications with
· Distant relatives who you want to keep distant
· Law enforcement
· Private investigators
· Crazed fans
· News Agencies
· Psychics who want to warn you about your impending doom
· …And any number of unwanted parties
In this business, I get a lot of interesting calls and requests, so the services we offer are constantly growing and improving. And even though there may be very unique details to the individual situation, our experience lends us the upper hand. For asset protection, here are some of the most common questions I get:
Common client calls...
“I don’t want people to be able to find where I live.”
No problem! We do that on the daily.
This is actually a very common issue, especially among our high profile and celebrity clients. We have had professional baseball players who have high school sweethearts trying to suddenly get in touch with them; we get calls from celebrities that want to make it so that crazed fans and paparazzi cannot locate them; we have normal, everyday people who have a variety of reasons to maintain their privacy. So no matter what your situation or lifestyle, we cater our services to you.
For example, John has a new girlfriend but her ex husband still really likes her and wants to find where you live. We set things up so that John is more than just a Google Search away.
“I am going through a bad divorce and my ex is trying to take everything I own.”
Unfortunately at that point, it is not the best time to have thought this through. But we can look at every situation individually and do everything possible to protect your assets. There are many ways to try to avert these types of attacks on your assets. We work for the spouses that want to find these assets and also for spouses who want to protect these assets. Most of the time it comes down to which person hires us first, lol. I am only half joking.
“I have some old judgements against me and I want to protect the things I have now.”
It’s hard to rebuild while people are trying to grab your assets. When someone is trying to rebuild their assets, we have methods that give you the control of your property in a fashion that others will not be able to take them from you until you are ready (if/when you are) to clear those debts.
While suffering the indignity of having to move back in with your mom and her cats (because your ex girlfriend's hot dog cart that you financed accidentally ran over an Instagram star's chihuahua), you need to be focusing on getting your life back together.
It's always the unexpected that gets you! Trust me, I've seen it all. Our business is dealing with the expected and foreseeing the impossible. So while you deal with the judgements, we protect your future as you go forward.
“I have received threats…”
This is a two-pronged approach. The first thing to do is to hide you from the person threatening you. The other part of it is finding and catching them in the act of threatening you. Sometimes simply finding the person(s) and proving their threats is all that is necessary. But most of them time, clients want us to continue the case by protecting their future in a more private fashion.
Each situation is very unique (which is how I preface most of my how-to’s), so depending on how serious and pressing the threat is, we will tailor our approach to what would work best. That may include protection details, electronic or physical surveillance, or a multitude of investigative tactics to head off the threat. We also often do home security and threat assessments. Basically, we should be the people you call when you want to set up protection from threats. People rarely expect things to get as bad as they do; I constantly have people say to me, “but I never expected this to happen to me”, and unfortunately that’s how the world works. Good news is that there are good guys out there, and we love helping people put the bad guys away (in jail, not with violence, because we are not hitmen, lol).
“I have pending litigation…” or “I don’t want people suing me and taking my property. I need to protect things for my family.”
Guarding assets is of course something we recommend every person to do before they ever get into this situation. We help you hide your assets from the general public and persons that you don't want to know your net worth, etc. If people don't know you have a large net worth, they are less likely to file frivolous law suits or choose you as the victim of cons, schemes, and theft.
No one ever expects to find themselves in a legal battle or fight for privacy…people don’t generally think “oh man, I should protect my one-of-a-kind classic car for when someone tries to sue me and I did nothing wrong, they won’t be able to take my car from me”. Setting up protection of your assets should be something as basic and commonly practiced as retirement funds and life insurance. It really is that important. And yes, it is a bit complicated to do it the right way, but we know how the system works and how to navigate it swiftly and professionally.
“I want certain members of my family to receive things after I die, and I want to protect them and those assets from future liabilities or claims.”
We have been helping people with this since the beginning, 26 years ago. The key here is the individuality of the case. We will work with the client’s attorney(s) or even recommend them to attorneys we have been working with for years that have stellar reputations. I could sit here and write about cases and examples of situations and cases and give the details, but unless it is exactly what you are going through, it won’t really help you.
"My kid pulled a Ferris Bueller and took off with my car..."
If little Davey or Jennifer takes off with your Ferrari and your credit cards, you don't necessarily want them being pulled over at gun point by law enforcement. Your goal is generally to have your kid and cards returned to you safely without ruining your kid's future.
We want to aid in prevention and (to the extent we can) stop things from getting out of control while minimizing loss or damages. Dealing with a child (adult children too!) can be more than embarrassing at certain times in life, and we are here for you when the "Oh No" strikes. Our goal is to locate your child, and reunite the family swiftly and safely. And discreetly.
“I do not want family members’ actions to cause liability for me or my assets.”
The best way to avoid this is to have everything set up now (actually, its best if you already did it, but in case you have not) we can do it for you right away. Here is my best advice: call us today.
Depending on where you live, what it is you want to protect, what the laws are in your jurisdiction…the way we would it set up your asset protection will vary. There is always a way to make it happen, however depending on the clients needs, lifestyle, and location(s) the way we handle their asset protection will vary. Have properties in other countries? No problem, we have clients internationally and are contracted to assist them in multiple countries and provinces. It also depends on the client’s occupation—we may work with high profile clients in a different way to protect their property than we do for someone who is not famous and a constant target.