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Accused of Fraud

Hello I operate a service...

Hello I operate a service company where people leave their dogs in their houses where I go to walk them to feed them or whatever (1 to 4 times or whatever amount) per day. I had one client where it wasn't a pet sitting(vacation) but a potty break client as the owner was at work and I've had this client for a couple years and it's a monday to friday thing. Just recently my business started to expand quite a bit and because of the growth I had a very hectic schedule and in the past couple months I wouldn't have time to do that visit even though I charged the client for the visit (which I shouldn't have but I did). Now the client called me out on it saying I was committing "fraud" Now I did admit fault to the client and I did apologize and I did offer to refund the times that I missed (equaling $60.00) but she claims that she is still going to "do something" but that she was to upset still and hasn't decided on what that "something will be" what can she actually do to me? especially since I did offer to pay her back for the times I had missed, and even though I was in the wrong I did explain the situation on why I missed. does she have legal grounds to do something? or is she doing this to scare me?

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5/9/2013
Copperlaw
Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,019
Experience: Lawyer and Retired cop. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and others.
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Copperlaw :

Hi there

Copperlaw :

If in fact you have billed her and accepted payment for services that you never performed but claimed you had, then yes, this could be reported as a fraud.

Copperlaw :

Unfortunately, trying to set things straight after the fact, once you're confronted on it doesn't lessen your liability on the facts\

Copperlaw :

It's okay if you missed, it was charging her and accepting money that created the problem.

Copperlaw :

Were she to report this to police, they could do anything from warn you and require restitution to charging you criminally, even possibly conducting an investigation to

Copperlaw :

determine if this has occurred to anyone else

Copperlaw :

The best thing to do is to make every attempt to resolve this matter with the client. I would send her a cheque for reimbursement, regardless

Copperlaw :

If you do get charged, it'll look good that you corrected it even before the police were involved

Copperlaw :

Ultimately, it's a matter of trying to work it out with her, correcting your mistake and do all you can to avoid a call to the police

Copperlaw :

If she does call the police, it's best if you've done all the right things up to then

Copperlaw :

whether it's chalked up to a bookkeeping error or something else, you need to make it right.

Copperlaw :

I know you understand that. But send the cheque.

Copperlaw :

and make a copy for your records

Customer:

what would you suggest I do now? like I have said I tried to refund her the money and she feels that's an insult and she has said that she needed to calm down and decide what she was going to do.

Customer:

do you think that sending her a cheque would only make her more upset? and would you suggest that I enclose a note with the cheque? if so what should I say in the note?

Copperlaw :

If you didn't do the work, then you absolutely should send her the money back. I cannot see it making her more upset. If you wish to include a note, it's best to avoid wordage that could incriminate you or imply that there was in fact a fraud. You can refer to your mistake, billing error etc. But word it carefully so as not to insult her intelligence

Customer:

I sent her a refund in the mail last night so it should get to her either tomorrow or Monday.

Customer:

just wondering if she did file a complaint would the police already be calling me? as when she confronted me was 2 days ago now

Customer:

or is it safe to say nothing is going to happen?

Copperlaw :

Can't say nothing will happen, however if she did make a complaint to the police, you would have been contacted.

Copperlaw :

I would hope that once she receives the refund, she'd let the matter rest

Copperlaw :

Feel free to touch base in the future should you need to. I'm always happy to help

Copperlaw
Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,019
Experience: Lawyer and Retired cop. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and others.
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Category: Canada Law
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