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It is a crime to write a check, knowing that there are not sufficient funds in the account to pay the check. G. L. c. 266, Section 37
. Intent to defraud is presumed if the person pays the check in full, along with any fees, within two days of being notified that the check did not clear. That means that if you send him notice that the check did not clear via certified mail, giving him two days to both pay the amounts due and the fees, and he does not make good on them, you could then file a police report
A stopped payment on a check is a little different. Theft
of services requires a showing that he accepted your work with intent to defraud and never intended to pay you. A stopped payment doesn't necessarily evidence that, as much as it tends to show a dispute that arose later. You can certainly sue in District Court
for the money you are owed (or Superior Court, if it's more than $25,000), but you may not be able to prove theft.
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