First World Problems: Being Rich on Instagram Can Be Dangerous
For the mega rich, it’s all fun and games until you’re caught for tax evasion, and it turns out that Instagram is one of the most important tools for catching white collar criminals.
Financial investigators have admitted that social media has become the unwitting accomplice to their investigations. When looking into certain cases, children of wealthy families often post critical information for investigators.
It’s not just limited to family either. Rapper 50 Cent found himself in hot water after posting an image to Instagram, spelling out the word “Broke” in stacks of one-hundred dollar bills after filing for bankruptcy. When questioned by the court, the rapper claimed the money was fake.
According to Oisín Fouere, the managing director of K2 Intelligence in London, a man who was the center of an asset recovery case claimed he had no significant valuables, only to be brought down by a social media post from one of his children showing them vacationing on the man’s $25 million dollar yacht in the Bahamas.
In another case, this one from a firm named Kroll, investigators were looking into a man who’s divorce decree ordered him to pay his wife $30 million British pounds in assets. The man claimed to not have any assets of that value.
According to Andrew Beckett, the managing director of cybersecurity and investigations, “We monitored social media, particularly for his children, who were in their 20s, and found a lot of posts from the same geo-tagged sites. Cross-referencing that with land registry and other similar bodies overseas, we found half a dozen properties that were registered in the name of this person.We were able to go to the court with a list of assets that we conservatively estimated at $60m, which the court then seized until he settled the amount that had been ordered.”
But it’s not just law firms that are targeting the super rich. Utilizing social media, vandals have found pricey property belonging to the rich kids of Instagram and have taken upon themselves to destroy them.
Self-styled rich kid, Aleem Iqbal lost hundreds of thousands in vehicles to arson after posting them to Instagram.
A few more posts, and a few more vandalized vehicles led Iqbal to write the following on his Facebook, “I’m not really in a great state of mind at the moment, I’ve had half a million pounds worth of cars destroyed in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s an attack on my family because they would have come directly after me or my family if that was the case. However, I do believe it could be a vile act of jealously towards my business or it could just be mindless vandals on an arson spree.“
However, the arson hasn’t stopped Iqbal from continuing to post about his lavish lifestyle. It seems the lesson hasn’t sunk in for him, or the other mega-rich kids on social media.