An online gossip magazine claims to have insider information that disgraced actor Bill Cosby is using bitcoin to try to conceal what remains of his fortune from his creditors.
Citing an unnamed “insider,” celebrity gossip site Radar Online alleges that Cosby, who was convicted earlier this year on three counts of sexual assault, has purchased approximately $5 million worth of bitcoin ahead of his sentencing date in late September.
According to the publication, Cosby believes that by moving his assets into bitcoin, he will be able to shield his remaining fortune from his creditors, including his lawyers to whom he is said to owe millions in legal fees, as well as his wife if she pursues a divorce in the future.
“He moved close to $5 million in Bitcoin after an expert told him it’s practically untraceable and impossible for anyone but him to retrieve,” the source said.“The expert said it couldn’t be taken in a divorce, bankruptcy or by the government in any liens!”
Radar, like most gossip magazines, pays sources for stories and does not subject claims to the same level of scrutiny as news outlets. Consequently, the publication’s claims should be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism, barring independent verification by a more reputable publication.
On the off-chance it's true, though, it’s not clear from whom Cosby is getting financial advice because this so-called expert is giving him some questionable information.
While it’s accurate to say that bitcoin transactions are uncensorable, and -- depending on how they are stored -- resistant to government seizure, that does not mean that trading his physical dollars for digital gold will exempt him from his financial liabilities.
For one thing, it would be virtually impossible for someone as high profile as Cosby to both quickly acquire $5 million worth of bitcoin and do so in a way that cannot be traced by blockchain analytics firms.
Moreover, even if he could somehow arrange such an anonymous purchase it would not solve his problems because his financial statements would betray a $5 million hole that would exist whether he had held the funds in cash or exchanged them for physical gold, Amazon gift cards, or yes, even tulip bulbs. Even if his creditors could not prove where the assets were housed, his financial statements would likely be sufficient to prove that he was hiding assets, placing him at risk for both civil and criminal penalties.
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Last modified (UTC): August 27, 2018 11:14 PM