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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3051
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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A friend of mine is out of the country and needing access to

Resolved Question:

A friend of mine is out of the country and needing access to funds to repair equipment on a job site in Qatar. He asked me to open an account at his bank in my name so he can transfer funds into it from his overdraft credit card. Then I will give him access to this account online and he can monitor a wire that iwill send to him. Are there any negative ramifications for me if I help him. He is in dire need and I know him.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. i would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

Opening an account for another person to access is generally not advisable. This is particularly true when funds are being sent overseas (accounts with overseas transfers are subject to scrutiny by many homeland security agencies in addition to banking regulators).

Customer:

He lives here. Has a bank account with USA Bank.

William B. Esq. :

In addition to the above concerns, allowing an individual with financial troubles to access a bank account with your name and information will open you to potential liability for negative account balances, liability for late charges and bank fees, negative reports on your credit, and other issues should the account drop into the negative.

Customer:

I would open up a checking acccount with 25 dollars and then he would transfer money into it from his account and I would wire it to him in Qatar.

William B. Esq. :

I cannot advise you as to whether or not this would be a good idea, these are just the potential negative ramifications that arise from opening an account for another person to access. You are of course free to do so, I would speak with a banking representative if necessary, but I cannot advise you one way or the other.

William B. Esq. :

He is asking you to wire money from the US to a foreign country.

Customer:

I'm a geologist and he's a structural engineer on the oil pipeling and his vacuum lifter failed and needs to replace it. I know him well.

William B. Esq. :

(from your account).

William B. Esq. :

again, I cannot advise you one way or the other. you asked me for the potential risks, here they are, I can only provide you with the information. (I am not trying to persuade you one way or the other and I have no information as to your relationship or his character - I am not disparaging him in any way.

Customer:

so negative account balance, late fees and negative reports are the ramifications?

Customer:

what about irs since he would be wiring around 50K into the account

William B. Esq. :

Those are the ones that come to mind. But from your description, it sounds as if you are controlling the funds. The only other issue is sending money overseas. You are not receiving any income - you are acting as an intermediary - the money does not belong to you, the IRS would not be an issue. Money is taxed for "income from any source" but you are not receiving income.

Customer:

yes i am. Its seems he is taking a big risk but I just wanted to know what my risks are.

William B. Esq. :

Those risks are the ones that I can identify. If he has a credit line it seems he could do this independently, perhaps he could speak with his own banker (or a different representative if he has already done so) as this seems to be an overly complicated way of going about this transaction.

Customer:

What about wiring funds overseas. Is this a difficult process?

William B. Esq. :

No, it is straightforward, but they will want your information and will document the transfer. (It isn't terribly time consuming, but for most banks plan about 30 minutes given waiting time).

Customer:

He is in the Persian Gulf in the desert and not able to access account in this remote location. Not sure yet where I would wire it but do you suggest I speak with bank about all this. I'm thinking the back would not want me giving him access online to this account but he needs this so he can monitor activity

Customer:

he is taking risk with me

Customer:

one other question...he says he will use his overdraft on VISA to deposit into my account. I will not be taking on any credit debt will I?

William B. Esq. :

He is. The bank will allow you to give access to anyone (you simply give them your logon and password XXXXX he can see everything - you may want to consider using a different bank from your usual bank so that your personal accounts are not affected). I understand the remote nature of these things, but I believe there is an easier way to order this piece of equipment (not that he is trying something fishy, just that perhaps he is making things more difficult than they need to be due to the urgency and frustration associated with a key piece of equipment breaking down).

William B. Esq. :

You will not be taking on any credit card liability - a creditor cannot hold you liable unless and until you sign a contract accepting liability for the loan.

Customer:

I need to use his bank which is located in Texas so I can open up account over the phone. Ok...I think I understand everything.

William B. Esq. :

Excellent. I hope that this works out well for both of you, and that the project is able to get back on schedule swiftly.

Customer:

I know he says he has to use cash over there to repair or buy equipment...no credit

Customer:

Muslim country...lol

Customer:

thank you for your assistance

William B. Esq. :

You are most welcome, I am glad I was able to help.

William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3051
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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