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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I left an employer on 06/19/2013 and turned in my company credit

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I left an employer on 06/19/2013 and turned in my company credit card. 3 weeks later I receive a phone call from a detective stating my former employer had accused me of credit card fraud for charges made online on 06/20 and 06/21/2013 with the card issued in my name. The employer admits taking possession of the card on 06/19. I let the detective run forensics on both of my home computers which showed I did not access any of the websites charges were made to. I requested the company find out what address the "items" were shipped to and they are dragging their feet. I feel harassed and defamed, what should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Who is it that you are feeling harassed by and why do you think they would be doing this? Has your employer done anything other than file a criminal complaint such as turning this over to collections or make statements to third parties (not the police) that you committed CC fraud? Do you have any idea why they would say you had done this if they didn't think you had?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I turned my former employer into the TX Dept. of Regulatory Licensing for contracting electrical work without employing a Master Electrician, they filed the complaint of credit card fraud with the criminal division of our local Sheriff's Dept., and named me specifically. I have no idea why they would say I had done this, they assumed I remembered the credit card information, which I had not.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for that additional information. Although you would not have a defamation of character action against the employer if they have only shared their beliefs and the police, since that is a privileged statement and not covered by defamation laws, you might have a malicious prosecution case against your former employer is the charges against you are dismissed and the evidence supports a conclusion that the employer's actions were "knowing" and from ill will or evil intent, rather than just a mistaken belief.

So, once this all settles down and the charges or investigation against you is dropped, you can, if you choose speak to a local trial/litigation attorney (torts attorney) about your case to see if you have a strong enough case for malicious prosecution. You can read more about what has to be proven for this tort by going to: http://causeofactionelements.blogspot.com/2011/11/malicious-prosecution-as-tort.html

That though would be the only potential cause of action for their reporting this alleged CC fraud.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17618
Experience: Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Marsha411JD and 8 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I just got off the phone with the Texas Workforce Commission, my former employer's response, in writing, cited the fraudulent credit card charges and the allegation being made against me. I have requested the response under The Public Information Act, does this constitute defamation? By the way, the detective in charge of the case phoned me yesterday to let me know that his forensic check of my home computers turned up nothing that would indicate I was on any of the websites, as all of the alleged charges were made online.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for the follow up question. No, a statement to a Governmental agency in regards to a claim or lawsuit is not defamatory. But as I mentioned, you could still potentially have a malicious prosecution case.

As for the TWC, if this statement was made in regards to your application for unemployment benefits, then you can present all of your evidence that this is not the case and you would win your appeal. If you are having to go to an unemployment claim appeal hearing, you can ask the TWC to subpoena whatever records you need from the employer that they say supports what they are alleging. You can use that in your unemployment appeal and also in your malicious prosecution case.

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