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Can attorneys act as privacy proxies for a business transaction and conceal the identities of their clients? Is this a form of power of attorney? Or attorney-client privilege?

Is a corporation structure required to preserve anonymity?

Are two attorneys even needed for this kind of transaction below? Could Attorney A complete this transaction while representing both Person A and Person B and not revealing Person A's identity to Person B?

Synopsis:

Person A wants to sell their business, which consists of digital "virtual" property, such as a website and/or a website domain. This property is not real estate, not a corporation holding assets, doesn't concern copyright or trademark, or is physical property which requires legal documents of ownership such as a title, deed, etc.

Person A hires Attorney A to be in intermediary and legal counsel for a business transaction. Person A advertises (without revealing their identity to the public) and soon finds out that Person B is interested in buying. Person A tells Person B that they want to complete the transaction without revealing their identity, and to find a Attorney to oversee the transaction. Person B hires Attorney B.

Attorney A and Attorney B negotiate the price and other transfer details for their clients, such as email addresses and passwords for the actual transfer of ownership, as well as form of payment.

The key is that Person A wants to conceal their identity from Person B and Attorney B. Person B doesn't care who Person A is, they only want to complete the transaction.

Is it possible for Person A to sell the digital property (with Attorney A acting as a proxy with Attorney B) to Person B without their identity being revealed to Person B?

Can Attorney B send payment (check, bank draft, or crypto) to Attorney A, who then deposits/moves it into an intermediate account (their own account or a temporary account), and then transfers payment (check, bank draft, or crypto) to Person A?

Would Attorney A have to reveal Person A's identity to Attorney B? If so, could Attorney B conceal Person A's identity from their own client Person B?

Would both attorneys need to determine between themselves that the transaction was not illegal in any way (IP theft, money laundering, etc.) before they agreed to complete the transaction between their clients? Would they be liable if the transaction turned out to be illegal?

Would records of the real identities of Person A and Person B need to be maintained by one or both the attorneys for a certain time frame?

Jurisdiction US.

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  • Among others, there would be money laundering concerns.
    – o.m.
    Feb 2, 2023 at 5:20
  • How does person B know they are being sold something that the seller has the right to sell? Feb 2, 2023 at 6:16
  • @o.m. Yes, that's a possibility; would the lawyers need to determine for themselves if the transaction was illegal? Feb 2, 2023 at 16:02
  • @GeorgeWhite That is a question; the "ownership" of the digital property assumes that whomever owns the login/password/email associated with the property, owns it. Feb 2, 2023 at 16:03
  • Why is lawyer B even necessary? Feb 2, 2023 at 16:19

1 Answer 1

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In general, an attorney in the United States can act as a privacy proxy for a business transaction and conceal their clients' identities. Pseudonyms or other means of hiding the identities of the parties can be used to accomplish this. However, the specific laws and regulations that apply in the jurisdiction where the transaction takes place may determine the extent to which an attorney can conceal the identities of their clients.

In this scenario, Attorneys A and B can negotiate the transaction's specifics, including the method of payment, on their clients' behalf. Without disclosing Person A's identity to Person B or Attorney B, Attorney A could receive payment from Attorney B on behalf of Person B and then transfer the payment to Person A. However, the attorneys would need to take ethical considerations into account and take steps to avoid conflicts of interest. In addition, they would be held accountable if the transaction turned out to be illegal in any way, such as for the purpose of money laundering or theft of intellectual property.

As required by applicable laws and regulations, the attorneys would likely be required to keep records of Person A and Person B's true identities. The particular facts of the transaction and the jurisdiction would determine the specific requirements for record keeping.

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  • Thanks, re "the specific laws and regulations that apply in the jurisdiction where the transaction takes place." Would these be bar association regulations? Or actual laws on the books at the state level? So I can search state laws: what would these laws be called? Feb 14, 2023 at 2:18
  • For legal transactions, the relevant laws and regulations may be related to contract law, property law, securities law, tax law, labor law, or other areas. They would typically be codified in the state's statutory law, and may also be influenced by common law principles established by case law. To search for the specific laws and regulations that apply to a particular transaction in a specific jurisdiction, you may want to consult with a local attorney or conduct a search on your state's legislative website, which typically has a searchable database of the state's statutes and regulations. Feb 14, 2023 at 10:01
  • To sum it up, these are actual laws depending on the transactions you make, for a property transaction, property law is referred to. Feb 14, 2023 at 10:03
  • Lastly, since offers are made in transactions, contract law and the law depends on transaction in nature. Feb 14, 2023 at 10:04

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