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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22303
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have recently discovered a builder I used to build my

Customer Question

I have recently discovered a builder I used to build my house, had a secretary that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars off my customers builder. This was almost 9 years ago now, but I have only recently found out. Do I have any chance of recovering some of these stolen funds?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

There is no limitation period for fraud, but the real issue is whether the secretary has any money which can be recovered. How much have you lost in this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Estimate between $100-200k. I dont think the secretary has anything, but would the building company not be liable?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

Does the building company still exist? I ask this because builders often liquidate companies after issues like this.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
it does.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

While there is no limitation period against the person who committed the court, it may be more difficult to recover against the company, because they are outside the normal limitation period of six years. Was there a reason you did not pursue the company when you lost this money nine years ago?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I didnt realise until only recently.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

How did you discover that you had lost this money?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My sister in law new the secretary, I think she even went to jail for a couple of years.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
knew
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

What I don't understand as yet is why at the time this was being built, you did not realise that you were missing this money. At the time you could have asked the company to replace this or did you end up paying money twice for the building work?

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

Normally if someone had stolen money from building company this would not be your problem because they would still be obliged to undertake the construction in terms of your progress payments, and they would need to cover the losses themselves

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I asked them, and they said that was how much it cost. It was $1.1m, so its not unusual for a house to go over 10-20%.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

You need to prove that you have actually lost money. Just because someone stole money from them, doesn't mean you have had money stolen from you. Can you do this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Yea I think so. Thanks. I will work on that
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

Ok

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