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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
    Posts
    30

    legal question regarding theft/return of funds

    Here's a little question for the legal egg-heads, hopefully someone here knows a little about this.

    Synopsis:
    Money stolen
    Theif was discovered
    When confronted, theif gave partial money back
    Filed police report
    Asked theif for remainder of money, denied (lawyer)
    Theif offers money back if "the issue is over with".
    What to do?




    The story:
    A situation arose in which a person was discovered to have stolen a substantial amount from a non-profit organization. When questioned regarding the loss of funds, numerous excuses were made by the thief, but it was obviously lies. At any rate, when asked for our money back, the person was willing. We gave a sum for the amount discovered in this year, and received it in the form of a cashiers check.

    At a later time, and after filing a police report we gave another sum representing the amount missing from the previous year. We were told her lawyer would be handling things.

    Today, she contacted us and stated she would give us the remaining amount in agreement with what her lawyer stated "if the matter was finished and closed.".

    In total, these two payments come to roughly $7,500. This is as best we can surmise as to how much is missing (lots of cash was handled making it impossible to find the exact amount).

    I'm curious, what would the wisest course of action? Obviously we will be seeking legal representation, and I plan to ask for more advice from the detective handling our case... so i'll take whatever advice with stride.

    At this point, some members of the organization are considering accepting the money. I'm wondering if by "the matter is finished", this could allow us to accept the cash, and since the matter is already turned over to the police.. it's out of our hands. The detective for the local PD and eventually the DA's office will handle the case, not us. Would that be a legit loophole to the ordeal?


  2. #2
    If you accept the cash, and her lawyer has some kind of "This is over with" contract that you sign or verbally agree to, I believe that you cannot persue the case in a civil court, however she can still be held criminally liable if the DA decides to pursue the case in a criminal court.

    As always talk to a local lawyer as local laws may vary.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Boise, ID U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,503
    Talk to the DA. The court could order both restitution and criminal punishment. The thief should not be allowed to get away with nothing worse than repaying the money on the odd chance of getting caught. If the criminal court doesn't order restitution, you could probably still sue in civil court.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
    Posts
    30
    Originally posted by Disgruntled
    Talk to the DA. The court could order both restitution and criminal punishment. The thief should not be allowed to get away with nothing worse than repaying the money on the odd chance of getting caught. If the criminal court doesn't order restitution, you could probably still sue in civil court.
    The problem is, according to the detective handling the case... it may take him anywhere between 2 - 8 months to obtain subpoena's for various bank accounts and other information. The actual case may take 6 months to a year to get to the courts.

    What i'm hoping is, like Trifolic suggested - if we're able to accept the cash and yes we agree we won't take the matter further pressing for more money in CIVIL court. Does such an agreement.. or can such an agreement be made saying we agreed to drop the CRIMINAL charges of theft? I suppose since it's already been filed, there's nothing we can do and it's a public (DA/PD) matter now?

    Unfortunately the detective doesn't work Friday-Sunday so I won't have until Monday to discuss the issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    876
    You are able to make an agreement to state that you will not pursue criminal charges personally however the state is able to pursue charges without your consent and you cannot prevent them from doing so.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Boise, ID U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,503
    Is $7,500 so close to the total amount the suspect ever had access to that you're confident there isn't another $7,500+ worth of theft waiting to be discovered?

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