Cover image for Hide your assets and disappear : a step-by-step guide to vanishing without a trace
Hide your assets and disappear : a step-by-step guide to vanishing without a trace
Pankau, Edmund J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 200 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6769 .P35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

Are you tired of the way you're living? Are you fed up with everyone trying to take your most valuable possessions--your money and assets--away? Are you sick of having creditors, the IRS, or a vindictive ex-spouse nipping at your heels? If only you could disappear without a trace...if only you could resurface in some exotic foreign place with a whole new identity and a brand-spanking new life.

And on the other side, how would you like to track down that ex (and his assets) who owes you money? Want to know his tricks?

For most people, this is just a fantasy. But it doesn't have to be. In Hide Your Assets and Disappear, one of the nation's top-ten-rated private investigators, Edmund J. Pankau, reveals all the tricks of his trade to show you how to hide it all or find someone who has. An experienced tracker who has worked for the government to recover missing assets, Pankau explains step-by-step how to successfully get away or find someone who has.

Filled with vivid real-life stories of both successes and failures as well as an Internet research guide, this invaluable guide outlines exactly what you should know before you go, including the ever-increasing difficulties you will face as the world becomes more tightly linked through electronic networks. Pankau shows you how to pay attention to prevent slip-ups that can give you away, from birthday phone calls to magazine subscriptions to an off-the-cuff comment to a stranger. He prepares you logistically and psychologically to successfully make the transition to your new life and new self in a new world, and gives you the best information on how to go, where to go, how to live, how to behave, and even who to become once you get there.

Should I keep my assets here or move them abroad? How do I create a new identity? How do I stay lost? Can I ever go back? How can I avoid anyone who might be looking for me? And how can I find someone who's disappeared on me? How do people fake their own deaths? What can the government do to catch a concealer? Pankau has the answer for all these questions and many more, and provides the tiny, often overlooked details that can make the difference between lounging on a tropical beach or ending up on the wrong side of the law.

Whether you're in search of a new life or someone who has hidden their assets and disappeared and left you in the lurch, listen to Edmund J. Pankau. With his unique, entertaining, eye-opening guide, he shows you how to go from victim to victor.

Thinking of disappearing without a trace? Want to find someone who has? Consider these questions...

Which is the better place to go, New Zealand or Panama?

How much cash you can legally take out of the country?

What are the hot spots the Customs Department targets as suspicious entrance points?

What is FinCEN and how can it ruin your plans?

Where is it better to keep money, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, or Switzerland?

Should you seek out the expatriates in your new country or lay low?

What should you do if someone recognizes you in your new home?

What happens if you get sick abroad?

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Pankau is a private investigator with a talent for self-promotion who specializes in tracking financial fraud. His resumeclaims he was a Green Beret, that he videotaped then presidential aspirant Gary Hart with Donna Rice, and that he helped bring Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega to justice. On the other hand, the biographer contracted to write Pankau's life story backed out of the deal because he could not authenticate many of Pankau's assertions. Nonetheless, Pankau's Check It Out (1992) stands as a practical, effective guide to using public records to locate information--and individuals. Now he offers his expertise to show the other side of the coin. Although Pankau disclaims that "this book is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only," he offers specific and detailed advice on how to hide assets and "escape abroad" without compromising one's standard of living or ability to travel in the U.S. Profiles of best-suited hideaways include the status of their extradition treaties with the U.S.! --David Rouse

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
From the Authorp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Forewordp. xxiii
1. So You Want Out ... What Are You Going to Do and Where Do You Want to Do It?p. 1
2. Hide It All--In the U.S.A.p. 12
3. Cautionary Notes: What You Should Know Before You Gop. 19
4. Where Are the Best Places to "Hide It All and Disappear"?p. 29
5. How to Create That New Identityp. 83
6. How to Travel in and out of Your New Country, the U.S., and Anywhere Else--Without Getting Caughtp. 101
7. Moving Your Money Safelyp. 111
8. Keeping It Hidden Once It's Gone!p. 124
9. How the Pros Will Look for You: To Beat Them, Think Like a Detectivep. 147
10. Maintaining Your Lifestylep. 170
11. Always Have a Planp. 180
12. You and the Internetp. 184
Appendicesp. 195
Real Answers to Real Questionsp. 200
About the Authorp. 205