I hope someone on this community can help clarify a couple of things for me. Most of the information I've come across doesn't go into the nitty gritty of this sort of thing. I'm writing a story in which one of the characters is running a smallish investment scam, very similar to a Ponzi scheme. Eventually, as these things usually go, the authorities investigate and they arrest him on conspiracy to commit fraud.
My question is what happens to his and his company's assets? I assume most if not all of it is appropriated for restitution. Much of his money that's not tied directly to the scam has been used for cash goods or personal property such as very expensive furnishings, unique art that doesn't depreciate, etc. He also owns his house outright. I can have him own land as something else, too. Would all of this be subject to restitution for those that lost money with him? ETA: The story is set in Southern California, in the late 80s.
If he had put the house under his wife's name, would that save it from being appropriated? I'm assuming that his dependents would be out of luck, as well, with anything they own that's technically his. Any information would be greatly appreciated!