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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  30 years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
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If a company sends you a check on behalf of someone else for

Resolved Question:

If a company sends you a check on behalf of someone else for wrongful termination, would it be illegal for the person accepting the check to cash that check if it is in that person's hands? The person not wronfully terminatined, but the person who is accepting it on the behalf of someone else?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

The fact that you receive the check on behalf of someone else is entirely lawful.

However, if the check is not made out to you, and you sign and cash the check it is entirely illegal. Depending on the size of the check the charge would either be misdemeanor forgery or felony forgery. Either way there is a reasonable chance that you would be prosecuted a jailed for the offense.

I wish you well.

Best regards,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: 30 years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
LawTalk and 7 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The check is made out to me. I didn't work for the company. It is in my name. It was an out of a court settlement. Just the employer trying to compensate the person without having to go to court. I will click accept sir. Is that entirely legal?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

Unfortunately, you can be still prosecuted for theft. You won't be charged with forgery because you will be signing your own name, however, because both you and the company know that the money is not yours, it is likely that the company that wrote the check will charge you with theft if you cash the check.

Forgery and theft, in this circumstance are quite similar in terms of the criminal penalties. I'd urge you not to cash it.

Best of luck to you.

Best regards,

Doug

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay, the scenario changes. I will explain in full detail. The person that the money belongs to wanted the check made out to me because they are in another country and have no way of retrieving the money that is owed to them. The company knows that the money belongs to this person and this person has been receiving e-mails for confirmation of their check. Could I still be prosecuted for the theft if the company knows that the person wanted to check to be put in my name? My intentions are if is lawful, to send the money directly to this person because it doesn't belong to me but belongs to someone else who was wrongfull terminated. I am a police officer and don't want to break in employment laws.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry but your scenario makes little sense to me. You told me that the check was in settlement of a wrongful termination claim. If that were a fact, then the company would clearly know who the person was they were settling with and the check would be made out to that person. I can't imaging a company writing such a check and making it payable to someone else--even if they were asked to by the person rightful entitled to the money.

I suggest that under these rather bizarre circumstances that you should under NO circumstances negotiate this check. The money is not yours to begin with. I suggest that you return the check to the original maker and indicate that they must have made a mistake because you do not claim that they owe you any money.

Best regards,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: 30 years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
LawTalk and 7 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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