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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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My 17 year relationship (woman to woman) has just ended abruptly,

Customer Question

My 17 year relationship (woman to woman) has just ended abruptly, and I have just discovered that she forged my name on as many as 13 stock dividend checks that were held jointly. The dollar amount is small, about $450 ($225 my share). I have also discovered that about 2-3 years ago she may have taken as much as $20,000 (in a single transaction), from a bank account that was "officially" a joint account although she only had authorization to pay my bills when I was incapictated medically. She was on the account in the event something happened to me. I can prove that she never deposited a single penny of her own. My question is: Can I use the forgery charge -not reporting it to the police- as leverage to get her to return my money? Oh, and she also filed a (false) restraining order against me, although the domestic violence part was dismissed. It is in effect for harassment through 12/31/09. I want to write to her brother with instructions to return my money. Can I get in trouble? Help!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 7 years ago.


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State laws can vary drastically. Accordingly, you should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state about this matter. What follows is neither legal advice nor a legal service. What follows is general information which may or may not apply, depending on the laws of your state. Only an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state can provide legal advice or legal services.



While the laws governing this matter will vary from one state to the next, generally, if a person can show that a joint account was abused, the person may be able to recover some or all of that sum. However, without any evidence to the contrary, it may be difficult to show that your ex was not entitled to the money out of the joint account. In this situation, a problem arises, as sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible, to show that a limiting agreement existed. Be sure to contact an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state, presenting him with all evidence that the account was yours, and not hers. It may help to show that you were the only person who ever deposited money to the account.

Using a threat of criminal action to obtain a civil remedy may be viewed as extortion, a serious crime. This is not adviseable. However, it is possible to send an appropriately worded demand letter to a person who owes a person a sum. To be certain that a person does not violate criminal laws, it would be wise to hire an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state in question. That attorney will be skilled in writing demand letters and that attorney will be know how to best express the necessary concerns ethically and legally.

You should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice in your state about these matters. You can find an attorney licensed to practice law in your state through your state's lawyer referral services:

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