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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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Was this an unlawful act? A friend, who operates a direct

Customer Question

Was this an unlawful act?
A friend, who operates a direct sales business, used my name and address without my permission in order to complete a business transaction: she states she placed an order in my name with her company, paid for it through her bank account, then returned items back to the company (she may or may not be required to actually send the items back). This resulted in me receiving a check for over 500.00 from their corporate offices. This check has my name and address on it. When I asked her why I might have a check from her corporate offices when I haven't done any business with the company, she told me she used my name (since we were friends), then asked me to endorse the check over to her. I advised her I would do nothing of the sort. My question to you is: While I know this is completely unethical, does what she did violate any law(s), or constitute identity theft? I've made a copy of the check and envelope for my records, and I am voiding the check and returning it to the company. Needless to sat, this person is no longer a friend.
Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - You did exactly what you should have done. You had no right to the money and whether she had a right to the money is between her and the company. Had you done what she asked and there was some problem with the arrangement you could have been drawn into the situation and possibly charged with a crime. So whether she is a friend or not you did what you needed to do to protect yourself. Whether what she did was illegal I can't say since I have no way of knowing what her work rules are and what she told her company. The key is that you did nothing illegal and you kept it that way.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. From the moment I received the check, I understood the ramifications, and that I could not be a part of this transaction. And I understand that ultimately I must protect myself, and that business-wise, what she is doing is between her and her company. My great concern lies with the fact that she used my "identity" without my knowledge in order to attempt to complete a transaction of questionable nature. My questions were about whether she committed identity theft, or violated state or federal law (consumer, or commerce?). Based on your reply it does not seem that you are able to answer my original questions. Thank you
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Well it may have been identity theft band you can report this to the police but you suffered no loss from your checking or savings account as a result so there were no damages. What she did was illegal but the victim appears to be her own company since they are the ones who wrote the check. Of you want to escalate this and call the police because of what she did you certainly have that right.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Well it may have been identity theft band you can report this to the police but you suffered no loss from your checking or savings account as a result so there were no damages. What she did was illegal but the victim appears to be her own company since they are the ones who wrote the check. Of you want to escalate this and call the police because of what she did you certainly have that right.