Leveraging Technology for Asset Forfeiture in Financial Fraud Investigations

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”

Stewart Brand, Writer

Asset Forfeiture Program

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented the asset forfeiture program to revert the proceeds of crime to its victims. It aims to deter and dismantle criminal organizations and cartels, including cybercriminals, money launderers, human traffickers, terrorist financiers, drug cartels, etc. The asset forfeiture program involves asset seizure after identifying and evaluating the assets that are the instruments and proceeds of criminal activity. Both civil and criminal asset seizure and forfeiture play an essential role in combating sophisticated financial fraud. 

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, $1.18 billion has been distributed to victims of crime and claimants in the fiscal year 2020. The U.S. Marshals Service helps the DOJ in asset seizure and sale to realize the amount and distribute it to the victims of financial fraud. The asset forfeiture program was created in 1984 when the government passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. Since 1984, the DOJ has successfully been able to seize the assets created from criminal activities and compensate the victims. One such famous corruption case is the FIFA bribery scandal that came to light in 2015 and recently the DOJ announced the distribution of funds to the victims.

FIFA Bribery Scandal

In 2015, the United States DOJ unearthed corruption cases against some of the top officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), officials from the governing bodies, and sports marketing executives. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) conducted the investigation, resulting in the indictment of several people and corporate defendants for racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud, bribery, and corruption. Assets that were obtained from the proceeds of their crimes were seized and forfeited during the investigation in the international soccer corruption case.

In August 2021, the DOJ announced recognition of losses and granted remission up to a total of more than $201 million to the victims of the rampant corruption and fraud committed during the soccer tournaments. A new fund called the World Football Remission Fund was established under the FIFA Foundation to ensure the proper distribution of funds to the victims. The FIFA scandal was one of the biggest in sports history, and the Asset Forfeiture Program of the DOJ ensures that the people duped during this large-scale fraud are compensated. The task of investigating such global scams and seizure of assets is no cakewalk. However, modern technology can come to the aid of investigators to make their jobs easier.

Using Technology for Asset Forfeiture in Financial Fraud Investigations

Financial fraud investigations, especially large-scale scandals like the FIFA corruption case, require scrutiny of bank statements and other financial documents for years. To understand the money trail, the investigators and enforcement agencies spend days and weeks analyzing the financial transactions. It is time to automate these tedious tasks of preparing and analyzing data with the help of digital tools. Technology today allows you to find the audit trail and identify the proceeds of crime and the assets purchased with them. Some of the features to look for in data automation and analysis software for asset forfeiture are:

  • Processes all kinds of financial documents, including handwritten checks and deposit slips
  • Ensures accuracy in data conversion
  • Automatic creation of insights and reports on the converted data
  • Tracks the money trail to provide a link between different entities and transactions


ScanWriter by Personable Inc. is a data entry automation software that quickly extracts financial data and converts it to Excel. In partnership with Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (BI), it also provides data visualizations in a granular analysis in charts, graphs, and other financial models like ‘follow the money’. For example, you can track the audit trail and scrutinize the movement of funds to ascertain the assets and proceeds of crime. Once the assets have been ascertained, the enforcement agencies can then go ahead with the asset forfeiture to compensate the victims of the crime. 


ScanWriter ensures 100% accuracy in converting the data from financial documents like bank statements, bills, invoices, receipts, check images, phone records, insurance forms, and other such documents into Excel or data visualization. In the data preparation screen, there is an option to check the balance, where you can reconcile the entries from the original documents. In addition, it segregates the data by date, making it easy to verify from the record and edit on the screen. ScanWriter ensures accuracy and maximizes your data entry efficiency with its intelligent error detection.

Audit Trail

Track the audit trail to find the flow of money and purchase of assets from the proceeds of crime. ScanWriter helps unravel the relationship between different entities and transactions from bank records to build a confident case strategy. It can also create automatic reports to provide insights through dynamic graphs and share results through compelling visual storytelling. 

Data Integrity

ScanWriter maintains the confidentiality and integrity of your sensitive financial data by saving it locally. It is an on-premise software that integrates easily with your existing processes. 

Data Analysis & Visualization

ScanWriter with Power BI allows you to visually create different kinds of financial models as per your requirements. ScanWriter has pre-created financial models integrated into it, so you can choose one of these and create powerful visualizations. It segregates the financial data based on the following factors for an efficient analysis:

  • The flow of funds with pictures
  • Activities by location
  • The flow of funds by the entity
  • The flow of funds by amount and date
  • The flow of funds by category 

Source: ScanWriter

One-Stop-Shop Solution

ScanWriter is a state-of-the-art solution that converts data from PDFs to Excel spreadsheets, provides verification and analysis of data with data visualizations, all in a single software. You can use ScanWriter to connect, integrate and enrich the data. It also has Power BI integrated, which is a great way to go through the suspected transactions and turn them into a storyline to show what is going on. 

Wrap Up

Financial frauds like FIFA committed on an international level contain financial records from different countries. ScanWriter supports more than 40,000 institutions, including more than 10,000 financial institutions and over 21 languages. It cuts the hourly labor cost by 90% and allows investigators and enforcement agencies to concentrate on more critical asset seizure and forfeiture tasks. ScanWriter links Excel cells to data sources and highlights the data origin location, allowing you to recognize money flow. It reduces the need for multiple checkpoints to account for human error and has a user-friendly interface. You can also book a demo session or a 14-day pilot for a hands-on experience to see how it works and how you can use it for asset forfeiture. 

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