How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Doe Deer Your Own Question

Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3864
Experience:  Atty. 24+ years; Plain English explanations of Landlord/Tenant & Purchase/Sale
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Jane Doe Deer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My girlfriend works as a property manager at a local apartment

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend works as a property manager at a local apartment complex. She's worked there for four months. Yesterday, she learned that the porperty where she works has a tax lein against it. Her employer, however, has been depositing rents collected into an account tied to another property owned by the same company. Should she report her employer's actions to authorities, and how should she protect herself since she doesn't want to lose her job? The property is located in King County, Washington.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am a WA State licensed attorney working at Just Answer under a pseudonym. I'm in Pierce County.

 

 

Answer: Let's call your girlfriend Pam. If Pam is an at will employee, no contract and no union, the employer can fire her at any time, with no reason and no notice. If she has a contract, the contract will dictate reasons for termination, usually all in favor of the employer, not the employee. In theory, and only in theory, Pam would be protected from retaliation if she reported a crime/violation of public policy to the authorities. In reality, however, she'd probably get fired, and then have to sue - expensive. So, she's sort of between a rock and hard spot.

 

Pam needs to question her motive for reporting this. It's the right thing to do. If the transfer of funds could ever reflect on her, and make it look like she's part of a conspiracy, then she really MUST report it, to protect herself (or quit).

 

That all said, one place to contact is the FBI or IRS, if the building has a FEDERAL tax lien against it. (If it were me, I'd contact the FBI at their Seattle office, or through fbi.gov. That's only because contacting the IRS can be a major nightmare, and I don't know if they can guarantee anonymity the way the FBI may be able to.

 

If this is a state lien, let me know more - is it a county property tax lien? Then contact the county. Is it a business tax lien - then county the Dept of Revenue's main office, in Olympia, and talk with someone up the food chain, not a clerk.

 

With whomever Pam talks, she should say she wants to report what appears to be illegal reporting/transfer of income. She should ask for immunity right up front, in case someone decides to charge her, too. In other words, she should first obtain a guarantee of immunity, if possible, before providing the information - a trade, as it were.

 

In addition, for her own protection, Pam should sit down and write a chronology up, starting with the date she first heard of the job. The next entry is the date of her job interview. Then a chronology of when she found out, how, when, why, what, etc.

 

She should then sign and date the chronology, and put it away. This may be helpful to an investigating state or federal agency. Whatever she does, she should NOT tell the employer she's "on to them" or make any threats to them whatever.

 

Pam should also look for a new job. Even if nothing illegal is going on, it sounds like the property she is managing is headed for bankruptcy. That means she may never see her last paycheck or two, or ever get any earned leave, etc.

 

I will be checking my computer all day to see if you have any follow-up questions. Sorry I switched this out of "chat" but I always have computer/technical problems when I try that.

 

If I've answered your question, please click "accept" even though you've provided a deposit, or I won't be paid even a dime for my time!

 

I'm happy to answer follow-up questions. If you have none, please

"ACCEPT" my answer.

 

There can sometimes be a delay of an hour or more in between my followup answers because I may be helping other customers, conducting legal research, or taking a break. If we're writing late in the evening, I may need to get some sleep and resume helping you the following morning.

 

Bonuses of even a dollar are much appreciated and help support this site.

 

 

I REALLY appreciate FEEDBACK so that I can continuously improve!

 

All my best,

 

Jane Doe Deer

Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3864
Experience: Atty. 24+ years; Plain English explanations of Landlord/Tenant & Purchase/Sale
Jane Doe Deer and 6 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for the fast and clear response!

My girlfriend has already started a job search, and plans to not report her employer's misdeeds until she has a new job. Does she face any trouble for not reporting them promptly?
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for accepting.

 

If she knows what is going on and does not act, a govt agency could file criminal or civil charges against her for something like conspiracy or an accessory. (I feel more comfortable discussing real estate and employment then I do criminal matters, but I'm saying it's possible).

 

If "Pam" does report and get immunity and a promise that her name will be kept quiet, her proactivity should keep her out of trouble. She could, however, be called sometime as a witness - that is why it's important for her to get her facts organized now, into a chronlogy, either to help her memory, or to turn over to the proper agency.

 

The nice thing about the FBI (versus the IRS) is that they actually answer their phones, and one can talk to a real investigator almost immediately. (If we're talking about a federal tax lien).

 

If Pam does get called in the future as a witness (it could be three years from now) any notes she writes up will have to be given to the "opposing side," so have her write them up neatly and professionally. She can ask for, and should receive, witness fees and reimbursement of mileage.

 

May I be of further help?

 

My best,

 

Jane

Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3864
Experience: Atty. 24+ years; Plain English explanations of Landlord/Tenant & Purchase/Sale
Jane Doe Deer and 6 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4813
    16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4813
    16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6227
    20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4966
    13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    4446
    I've more than 27 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg Ray's Avatar

    Ray

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4030
    Texas Attorney for 29 years dealing in real estate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2377
    12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2355
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.