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Questions about Misappropriation

What is the meaning of misappropriation?

Misappropriation technically means the intentional misuse or illegal use of another person’s property or funds for self use or any other unauthorized use. In most cases, this term is used when mishandling occurs and the crime is committed by a person with a fiduciary duty. Examples of people who carry a fiduciary duty are public officials, trustees, executors or administrators of a will or estate. Hence, if people who have been entrusted with a responsibility to protect another person’s asset break this trust by knowingly and willingly committing a fraud and using the funds inappropriately, it is referred to as misappropriation. Misappropriation is considered a felony and is punishable by law.

What does misappropriation of likeness mean?

Misappropriation of likeness is usually used in cases when someone uses another person’s name or reputation for financial gain or benefits. An example of misappropriation of likeness would be if a consultant hired by a client uses the client’s name and reference in his/her personal marketing or advertising material without prior consent or approval from the concerned client.

Can a trustee be convicted for executing a will or trust improperly?

If improper treatment includes misappropriation of funds from a family trust or estate, it could be considered as serious as criminal embezzlement. All other deeds or actions of the trustee may not have such serious repercussions other than misappropriation. It would most likely lead to a criminal prosecution and conviction if proven guilty.

The CEO of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) used significant funds of the company to purchase an asset in his name. This amount was later returned to the company. Is this misappropriation?

Based on the details provided, the CEO has deliberately used the company funds for a personal purchase though the funds were returned in a few days. This is a violation of his fiduciary duty to the company and amounts to embezzlement or misappropriation of company funds. The CEO is liable for any losses suffered by the shareholders and the board members can choose to take criminal action against him.

My parents were acting trustees of my trust fund since I turned 21 years old. They are denying me the fund now since our relationship has deteriorated. What can I do?

As trustees of a trust fund or estate, your parents are bound by the duty to adhere to the terms and conditions of the trust. If they refrain from doing so you can file a suit in civil court. You can request the court to terminate their role as trustees for not fulfilling their responsibility and ask for a complete accounting to rule out the possibility of misappropriation of funds. In case misappropriation is discovered, you can also sue for actual and punitive damages. Additionally the court can be requested to have the trust dissolved and the amount allocated to you.

How do I deal with employees who have misappropriated funds while submitting travel expenses?

Employees who go against company policy by submitting deceitful travel expenses can seem like they are trying to indulge in misappropriation of funds. The first step to address this would be schedule an interview with human resources to make them aware of the evidence you have. The next step would be to question them on the authenticity of the expenses and request an explanation for it. If the explanation or reasoning is dissatisfactory, the concerned authority can decide to ask the employees to reimburse the extra amount claimed, suspend the services of the employees or terminate them.

When a person with a fiduciary duty to take care of your assets violates the faith and trust put upon them by indulging in misappropriation, it can be very difficult and stressful to deal with. You will need to analyze the depth of the damages and seek a remedy either through a mutual agreement or litigation as it is an offense punishable by law. If you wish to know more about misappropriation as well as your rights and options either as a victim or an offender, consulting an Expert who can guide you with important information and clarify your doubts will prove useful.
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Recent Misappropriation Questions

  • My previous employer was seeking a TRO for the following:

    My previous employer was seeking a TRO for the following: Defamation, Tortious Interference with Business Relations, and Misappropriation of Trade Secrets.
    A TRO restraining me from "releasing confidential information" was granted.
    We then had a hearing 90 days later where they were seeking a Preliminary Injunction for: Defamation, Tortious Interference with Business Relations, and Misappropiation of Trade Secerets.
    At the hearing the Plaintiff amended their filing to include stalking, O.C.G.A. 16-5-90, I was completely blindsided. I was prepared to argue my position on: Likelihood of success on merits, potential for harm, harm to petitioner if not granted, and public policy consideration.
    I was not prepared to argue on the allegations of stalking. The plaintiff was grated a Preliminary Injunction on the stalking.
    There was no stalking, however I was not prepared to defend myself against the perjured testimony of the 1 witness. I have filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Am I able to file a Motion for a New Trial?
    I meet with the Plaintiff's attorneys 4 days prior to the court date in an effort to settle, they made no mention of the change in charges/allegations. Do I have to be give some notice or time to prepare?
    This case is currently before the Cobb Superior Court in Marietta, GA
  • My company recently hired an accountant. The company where

    My company recently hired an accountant. The company where the accountant worked previously sent my company a letter through their lawyer that they think that the accountant stole their trade secrets and customer database and brought that info to our company. They demanded us to Cease and Desist using their confidential information in case we had it (which we did not) and threatened us with a legal action for tortuous interferenace, unfair competition, conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of fiduciary duty. The letter was addressed to me and my husband as owners and registered agents for the company and send to us both by email and mail. The lawyer also emailed the copy of the letter addressed to me and my husband to the accountant that we hired, which resulted in high level of distress for her. My question is, did the lawyer have a right to share the letter sent to me and my husband with our employee?
  • Do legal guardians inherit the estate when the person dies

    Do legal guardians inherit the estate when the person dies and there is no will?
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