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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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I work in the automobile industry with a colleague of mine

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I work in the automobile industry with a colleague of mine who convinced a buyer in the middle east to send funds for a vehicle that he never delivered. The issue is that that he was never provided a bill of sale and sent the funds without any documentation as to what the funds were sent for. The buyer asked me to assist in retrieving his funds but it was never sent to me personally and I cannot locate this person. What advice can I give him that he could take to start an investigation in his country to assist in getting his funds back? What are his legal remedies for something of this nature. I've exported several vehicles with clients worldwide and I've never experienced this situation to advise him properly.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  replied 6 years ago.

Alex Esquire :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Customer :

Hello Alex

Customer :

hello?

Alex Esquire :

please hold on one minute, I am researching something for you

Customer :

okay

Customer :

anything?

Alex Esquire :

just one more minute, thanks for being patient

Customer :

no problem

Alex Esquire :

Ok, let me make sure I understand you correctly

Alex Esquire :

When you say that your "colleague" took the money from this customer and never send him the car, what affiliation do you have with this "colleague"?

Customer :

i own the company, he worked for me...the customer called for a vehicle and they happen to know the same people from his native country in jordan. the customer and my colleague decided to create a side deal and sent the money directly to my colleague. all of a sudden, he took a leave of absence and the car was never delivered.

Alex Esquire :

Also what state in the US were the money sent?

Customer :

florida

Alex Esquire :

Great, that's where I am from

Alex Esquire :

What was the amount?

Customer :

us $29k approximately.

Alex Esquire :

and the money were sent how?

Customer :

wire transfer

Alex Esquire :

To an account belonging to whom?

Customer :

to my colleague

Alex Esquire :

his own personal account?

Customer :

it was his business account.

Alex Esquire :

And this customer does not have any document, contract, bills of sale or anything else showing what the money were sent for?

Customer :

he sent me a receipt of the wire but i told him i couldnt help him...at the time i was upset that a side deal was entered.

Customer :

some emails that was pretty vague. afterwards, mostly phone conversations but never a bill of sale.

Alex Esquire :

Here is the problem, you should not really try to help or advise this customer as you might be facing potential civil and criminal liability for your employee's actions

Alex Esquire :

The only thing you should tell this customer is to retain a Florida attorney who can give him proper legal advice and guide him in the right legal direction

Customer :

is there anything he can do in dubai?

Customer :

contact the embassy?

Alex Esquire :

well he can contact an American Embassy, but it is unlikely they would get involved. He can also contact Jordanian Police who might be able to get in touch with FBI to investigate this matter

Customer :

as such, what are the potential civil and criminal liabilities that I may face. I'm certain the individual who took the funds has more exposure as the colluded to engage in this transaction outside of my business and the emails specify how my employee can help the buyer save in the process.

Alex Esquire :

I would suggest that you consult a local attorney who can look into all the facts and send this customer a certified letter that you have never approved this transaction, never received any proceeds from this wire transfer and that this person does not work for you any longer and you are unable to locate him

Customer :

okay.

Customer :

at least i can tell him to contact the police in dubai.

Customer :

they know people in jordan but the wire was sent from dubai

Alex Esquire :

I would suggest that you just tell him to consult an attorney

Customer :

okay

Alex Esquire :

As far as this being a civil and criminal liability for you, that would depend on many different facts and would depend on whether a further investigation is conducted by proper authorities and if there is any evidence pointing on any intentional or negligent wrong doing on your part.

Alex Esquire :

I would suggest that you do not discuss this matter with anyone and do consult an experienced local criminal attorney.

Alex Esquire :

Keep in mind any theft in Florida of over $300 is a 3rd degree Felony

Customer :

My attorney says that without a bill of sale, he has no real evidence. I thought to seek additional advice to help this person out. He seems pretty distraught.

Alex Esquire :

Well, the fact that the money were sent to your former employee's business account and there was nothing given in return points out that your former colleague has taken this persons money by fraud or deception...

Alex Esquire :

This is also rather a large sum of money, wouldn't you agree?

Customer :

definitely.

Alex Esquire :

Is the attorney you consulted with a criminal attorney?

Customer :

i would hope the buyer has some recourse and thought to ask someone else for a 2nd opinion.

Alex Esquire :

Please keep in mind that without looking at all the facts and documents such as wire receipts, copies of emails, etc...it is impossible to make any type of specific determination

Customer :

no he's not. he contacted one while i visited him regarding the situation and a conference call was conducted for me to explain the whole circumstance to which the final answer rested in what document was given to enforce the sale, ie: a bill of sale and that document was never produced.

Customer :

i provided copies of the emails which the buyer forwarded to me and a copy of the wire receipt.

Customer :

there was conversations of a vehicle purchase but never a confirmation email stating to send the funds for this specific purpose.

Alex Esquire :

It is nice that you are trying to help a customer who has arranged to do a side deal with someone who used to work for you, but you have to remember this same customer you are trying to help can easily turn against you at any moment, that's why I think you are better of not discussing this matter with anyone but an experienced local criminal attorney

Customer :

okay...i appreciate all of your help. i will give him this last bit of advice to contact his local authorities and that i no longer want to be involved in this situation.

Alex Esquire :

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