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JD
JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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So, how do I begin to press forgery, fraud, and theft charges?

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So, how do I begin to press forgery, fraud, and theft charges? My wife and I loaned my son and his wife a cell phone (free) for the past year. My son decided to upgrade the phone; he went traded it in and got a new phone. In doing this, they used up all the upgrade money we had accrued and they entered us into an additional two year contract. All this was done WITHOUT our approval and notification. We never signed anything and we were not asked verbally to update the contract of phone. Now, we are in a 2yr contact with the phone carrier that did this. I have talked to the manager and he is working on it. As the store should not have allowed this to happen. No one but my wife and I know the password/codes to access our acct. My son will not mail back the new phone as they think it is theirs now.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

Did your son sign your name to the documents or pretend to be you? Did you ever add him to your account?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

At this time, I do not know if he signed my name. I cannot see how the store would do this without a signature. The store manager is researching all the paperwork that transpired. He has been very helpful. I hope that he will find something soon. No, I never "added" my son to the phone contract when they were borrowing the phone. In fact, the phone still showed in my wife's name.

I have contacted my son and he won’t send the phone back either. So that is theft too?

Thank you

Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

Your son's refusal to return the phone is theft. If your son disposed of the phone you gave him (sold it, traded it in, trashed it, etc) then that would be theft too. Theft of the old phone would probably fall in the venue of his home jurisdiction since he likely did not form the intent to "steal" the phone until he was there. You would prosecute such a matter by simply contacting the police in that area and filing a complaint.

 

The same is true for any forgery or identity theft that may arise once the cell phone company obtains this paperwork. My guess is that they allowed your son to do this as himself and never checked for authorization. This would mean that you are not liable for anything he signed or did and the cell phone company must go after him for their money.

 

If he signed your name, or used your identity wrongfully then you should likewise report it to the police for their investigation and filing of criminal charges. Again, the venue and jurisdiction would fall in Michigan in his home town.

 

I should point out that you are not responsible to the cell phone company for anything your son did. Your son cannot obligate you to a contract with the cell phone company any more than I can. Do not let them fool you into thinking you must pay for something other than the obligation you made yourself.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thank You for your help. That is the thing, my son is 22, doens't have any form of ID. He doensn't have a drivers license...anything. So, I can't figure out how the store allowed this to happen. Again, the store has been working this for a few days now.

Thanks!!!!
Expert:  JD replied 5 years ago.

I wanted to correct something I stated earlier. Venue in the potential forgery or identity theft case would fall in the venue where the paperwork was signed. Therefore, if it turns out the paperwork was falsified you would want to contact the police in that district. You could also contact your local police and file a report. They may be willing to coordinate with the Michigan authorities... but if it were me I would want to deal with the Michigan authorities myself.

 

The fact that your son had no ID does not surprise me. He probably found a trusting clerk or friend that allowed him to do this without identification. We'll see who's name he signed.

 

Again... please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

 

JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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