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JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Lets say an employee steals money from business A and gets

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Let's say an employee steals money from business A and gets fired, but no charges are filed in the courts. If that employee then steals money from his new employer, business B, does business A knowing they once employed this fraudster have any liability to business B? I'm in Massachusetts.

BizAttorney :

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BizAttorney :

Before we get started I would like to provide a brief explanation of how this system works.



 



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I only receive credit for assisting you if you leave a positive rating. The rating only applies to my answer. In some situations I will supply accurate legal information to customers who feel that information is "bad news." Please do not hold me accountable if the information provided was not what you were hoping to hear. We answer questions relying on an honor system with the hope that customers will do the rights thing and provide a positive rating so that we are credited for your work.



 

BizAttorney :

I see that you have joined me.

Customer:

Yes, hello - thanks for attempting to answer my question


 

BizAttorney :

As to liability, there is criminal and civil which are distinct.

BizAttorney :

I think that you are only asking about civil liability to the new employer.

Customer:

Let me give you some more background.

BizAttorney :

ok

Customer:

I, when working as a CPA a number of years ago came across an instance similar to the first part of the question where a friend of the owner was their bookkeeper. He did everything possible to allow her to steal money from him and over three years she did steal $40K. We advised him that he needed to press charges otherwise if she did the same to another company he may be liable. This is as an independent contractor


 

BizAttorney :

So, you are inquiring if there is liability for failing to pursue criminal charges?

Customer:

Now, I'm writing a novel and I'm trying to get my facts straight. In my new case an employee is found to have commited fraud against a company after they quit. Is there any responsibility to the fraudsters new employer to make them aware. I know this is slightly different than my original example.


 

Customer:

Yes, how far does the liability extend?


 

BizAttorney :

Ok. I can assist you.

BizAttorney :

There is no ramification for failing to report a crime.

Customer:

So it is really just an ethical choice?


 

BizAttorney :

one sec

BizAttorney :

I apologize for the delay while I checked a few issues.

BizAttorney :

There are civil issues and criminal issues which are distinct.

BizAttorney :

As I stated, there is no civil liability for failing to report a crime generally.

BizAttorney :

The other question is whether there is a general obligation to inform other parties which could result in civil liability.

BizAttorney :

There is only such a risk of liability where the law has established a duty.

BizAttorney :

For example, a school has a duty to provide care for students or an employer has a duty to remove violent employees from the work place.

BizAttorney :

The key is a relationship which supports a duty.

BizAttorney :

When such a duty is breached, there is civil liability.

BizAttorney :

Where there is not a duty, such as between business entities, then there is no liability.

BizAttorney :

Again, I appreciate your patience.

BizAttorney :

Please let me know if you need anything else.

Customer:

OK - very good. I appreciate your help and insight on this


 

BizAttorney :

I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive rating to ensure I receive credit for assisting you

BizAttorney :

I see that you have joined me. Sorry about the delay.

BizAttorney :

Please let me know if you need anything else.

BizAttorney :

Once you leave a rating the live session will end, but you can still post follow-up questions to me in a standard (non-live) question and answer format here.

BizAttorney :

Thank you again

Customer:
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