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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I am a company founder and an ex-CEO who is being sued (civil

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I am a company founder and an ex-CEO who is being sued (civil business litigation) for embezzlement put in his legal response that I was extorting him to get his equity - which is a lie. Can I file a criminal case against this ex-CEO? Would should be a proper way to handle this with the police?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.

You can report the embezzlement to the police. It would be up to the police to investigate it and the DA to decide whether or not to file criminal charges.

There are a few things that could make that an uphill battle.

(1) The burden of proof is higher in criminal cases (beyond a reasonable doubt) than it is in the civil litigation (preponderance of the evidence) your company is currently involved in.

(2) The victim, your company, has a civil remedy. Often times police and prosecutors punt if you have a civil remedy even though embezzlement is both a crime and a civil tort. In this case your company not only has a civil remedy but are already exercising it.

(3) Civil lawsuits greatly complicate criminal prosecution and make it much more difficult. The defense will try to make the witnesses who would support the charge look biased because money is at stake. Every prosecutor hates a criminal case with concurrent civil litigation.

(4) The delay in reporting the embezzlement. Delays in reporting always make charging less likely whether it is an assault and battery or embezzlement. The defense attorney would harp on if this was such a bad crime why it wasn't reported previously, and why the delay until civil litigation commenced. Again, it goes to bias.

In summary, you can report it to the police, but I would not get my hopes too high. I think it unlikely it will be pursued unless their is a confession or overwhelming proof of the embezzlement, and perhaps not even then for the reasons I previously mentioned.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry - looks like I should clarify my question.

Can I report to police that ex-CEO falsely accusing me of extortion? Would should be a proper way to handle this extortion accusation with the police?
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for misunderstanding your question. There would be no point in reporting it to police. In 15 years of criminal law practice I have never seen or heard of a criminal defamation charge being pursued by prosecutors. Your recourse, if you choose to pursue it, would be suing him yourself for libel or defamation.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Since he mentions his lies in public legal document, would libel / defamation charges stand or I should also demonstrate monetary damages to win this?
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
As with any civil suit you can win, but you need to have monetary damages if you want to collect more than a dollar. Here is a link that describes the types of damages that can be sought in a defamation suit:

I feel that I should tell you that defamation cases are hard to win because you have to prove that what the other person said was untrue and that often boils down to one person's word against the other. However, I understand that pursuing it may be worth it to you based on principle and to protect your good name.

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