To lawyers-Embezzalment/slander/jail?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jeremiah, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    OK I have a couple questions to anyone in the know.

    We had an insurance adjuster at our company who stole 30k on our insurance jobs(the stupid customers gave him cash and checks made out to him). We have already filed a police report so....

    1. Will he get any jail time? This is his 3rd or 4th company he stole from but I don't know if reports ere ever filed.

    2. He is already gonna get hired on by some other company, my supervisor said it is illegal to tell that company he embezzeled money from our company. Is this true? I just can't believe that is true since there is proof he stole.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It is likely that your supervisor is incorrect as to ‘legality’, but correct in the main, as most companies have an HR policy that will only allow very limited information to be given to other, potential employees. For example, that the person was actually employed by the company, the period of employment, and the title of the last job held. This is very common practice that eliminates potential lawsuits.
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I'm no lawyer, but unless he has been CONVICTED of the crime, claiming he is guilty of it could be grounds for a libel/slander lawsuit. I would assume that becoming an insurance adjuster would require a criminal background check. If so, any convictions and/or arrests could show up there. Just make sure charges are pressed.
     
  4. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    He signed a document saying he stole, a police report claiming he stole, but this has happened all in the last 10 days so he is not convicted yet, and who knows when he would be arrested, let alone convicted. If he hasn't been convicted yet, he could just go from job to job ripping people off if his previous employer couldn't say he stole.

    I doubt anything will happen to the piece of garbage, just don't think it is a high priority for the law.
     
  5. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    I'm no lawyer, but I'd instruct the HR department that if anyone calls asking for information on the former employee, they'd answer they can't give out that information while legal proceedings are in progress. [​IMG]
     
  6. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not a lawyer either - but my understanding from talking to my HR department about this issue many times over the years is that the reason we don't say anything bad is that it opens us up to potential lawsuits in the event that person is not hired.


    In this situation though - I would say that you don't have that risk.

    Also - He probably won't get any jail time. Courts are notoriously lenient on white collar crime - and as long as he pays restitution he'll probably just get probation or a few months in jail.

    I had a really interesting situation a couple of years ago that was similar to this, but was even more difficult to evaluate. I have a client that fired a key member of senior management for fraud. This guy did it, he pretty much admitted it - no doubt. Two months later, I'm at another client, and who do I see - but that same person. So now I have to decide if my responsibilities to keep the first client's information private (the fraud, while knowledge of that was public, still had a lot of things that weren't public) are outweighed by my responsibilities to the second client. Through lots of consultations with our legal folks we decided that we shouldn't tell the second client, even though we knew that it was only a matter of time before his role in the fraud became public (and, given our role in the investigation, that the second client would know that we knew he was involved).
     
  7. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I investigate employee theft and fraud for a living. I deal with this all across the nation. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Will he get jail time? No. More than likely, if it is his first offense, he will be convicted, receive a suspended imposition of sentence, several years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution. If he completes probation with no violations, the conviction will not be on his record. Let's face it, he didn't kill or beat anyone. The courts aren't going to send him to jail, when they have violent criminals to deal with.

    2. Is it legal to tell another company? Yes. Should you? No. If you do, what could happen? Lawsuit City. Until he is convicted, he is innocent. The charges could get thrown out on a technicality. It's unfortunate, but that's the way the corporate world is. We see this all the time with our employees being hired by our competition. We know they will steal from them just the same. Our main reason for prosecution is to get our side of the story out. Being in small towns, a local person being charged with felony theft often makes the news, so the truth gets out without our saying anything.

    3) A new twist has started happening recently in court decisions. Several courts have ruled that a former employer has a duty to advise a future employer of certain disciplinary problems, such as violence, sexual harassment, etc. Not sure where this will go, but HR and legal departments are watching these cases very closely.

    4) If you want the case prosecuted, you have to stay on top of the local police. A lot of my time is spent calling detectives and prosecutors to follow up with them on the status of the case. Squeaky wheel syndrome.

    5) Now that it's over, what steps has your organization taken to ensure this type of fraud won't occur again?
     
  8. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    No harm in sending an anonymous email or even a letter to the new company is there?
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Yes.
     
  10. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    Ok.
     
  11. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    It would harm the employee, who hasn't been found guilty of anything.
     
  12. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    Well, he has signed a confession, there is nothing but evidence against him, the innocent until proven guilty does not apply here. This is a small remodeling company so the 30k does hurt, but wont ruin the company. The guy is a piece of sht.
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Unfortunately, it does. You can sign all the confessions you want, be caught red handed, with the smoking gun, but until a judge/jury says you're guilty, you are presumed innocent.
     
  14. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    And don't forget, with our lovely courts, he could be found not guilty. Then, you'll get sued.

    It ain't worth it right now. I know you want your pound of flesh, but get it in such a way that the company is not put in a position to suffer a further loss.

    His time shall come!
     
  15. FloresAccountant

    FloresAccountant Auditioning

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    So I have read all of the posts in this forum and I am having a bit of the same type of problem, only mine is about a person who has been convicted of embezelling 27,000 over three years ago. They have recently violated their probation for the fifth time. They are constantly lieing on thier applications for employment and saying they have no criminal record.
    I was wondering if it would be okay for me to send an anonymous email to the employer with the documant of conviction included as an attachment as well as the most recent violation, considering this wouldn't be libel?
     
  16. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    ...by the court system, yes, but that doesn't obligate Jeremiah to hold a certain opinion. If he knows the guy to have stolen money, I don't see anything wrong with sharing that information with others.
     
  17. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    But that just brings us right back to the lawsuit thing. Without a conviction, he can dispute any allegation if it prevents him from getting the job, including personal knowledge or a written confession.
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    If you intend to remain anonymous, why do you need anyone's blessing before doing anything?

    M.
     
  19. FloresAccountant

    FloresAccountant Auditioning

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    I was looking this topic up on the internet and trying to research it all I could. I would prefer not to have anything bad come from this or anything so I tend to look into things extremly well before doing them. I do not want to commit any kind of crime, and this is my way of making sure that does not happen before I actually proceed with it.
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    If you want to be on legally solid ground before acting, then I recommend consulting a lawyer and reviewing all the specifics with him or her under the protection of the attorney-client privilege.

    Legal advice that you get on the internet based on a general description of your situation is worth exactly what you pay for it.

    M.
     

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