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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34268
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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Basically an online fundraiser (********) was set up by

Customer Question

Basically an online fundraiser (********) was set up by myself and another friend to help our mutual friend whose house burnt down. I set up the account in my friend's name ( she isn't good with computers ) and stated I was setting up the account for another person during the registration process. We all 3 ( myself, my friend and the intended beneficiary) shared the fundraising link on our social media pages to promote the fundraiser. Later I was given the banking info to where the donations were to he direct deposited. This was back in May. It was about 10 day's ago that my friend ( whose house burnt down) let me know that the fund's hadn't been deposited yet and that she was going to email the ******** company. I told her I would as well. She received info the following day that the funds were deposited into an account with our friend's name on it and that no other info could be obtained without an attorney. The friend's name that I listed on the fundraiser page as the organizer. I received an email alerting me of complaints on the account ( the email came to me bc it was my email listed on the fundraiser page) After 2 day's of conflicting info from the ******** company I went back thru all the emails that pertained to the ******** account ( and there were a ton...over a couple hundred bc everytime someone donates you get an email alert and then a follow up email reminding you to thank them!) so after looking thru them I came across an email that had account withdrawl information on it, the account the donations were deposited to was my husband's account. I have never gotten an answer as to why, possibly it was auto link when I entered my email bc I had used the site before for an autism walks fundraiser for my daughter... Regardless I confirmed with the bank that the funds were, in fact, deposited. They were deposited over a 6-8 week time frame and the total amount was $5300. While a nice fundraiser for my friend it wasn't a $20-30,000 fundraiser that was deposited into his account that I would notice a huge rise in our balance. His direct deposit pay checks are $2647 each check as well as his 2nd job has direct deposit and our nephew's SSA so that's why I didn't catch it right away. Still not quite sure why we were told in an account under our friend's name, bc that was clearly inaccurate. It's my husband's personal account and has been his account for many years. Regardless when I found out the mistake that had occurred I immediately wanted to rectify the situation. I should add you can't call this company, only contact is thru email which makes it very frustrating and inconvenient! Anyway to rectify the situation I opened another fundraising account immediately ( and stated my purpose) which was to strictly re-deposit the donations that were sent to my account so they could be deposited into the proper account. I received a confirmation email stating the funds I started to send were being processed and confirmed the account numbers to be correct so I figured I was working towards getting the issue resolved. I also was in contact with my friend during this process so she knew what was going on. Except 2 day's later I received an email saying there were complaints on the account and wanted me to verify the account. I did state my intentions.. Again and 2 days later I received an email stating the account was closed... Again not having an actual live person to speak with makes this process that much harder! I reached out to my friend, let her know of the situation... Again and we just agreed that it would be easier to just give the donations to her directly as I didn't know how to proceed with this company and they were intended for her anyway. That was 2 day's ago and I came home yesterday to find a card in my door from a detective... Of course I called and he wanted to ask me questions about the fund me account.... I didn't answer any and told him I would call him back. I obv called my friend and she said she didn't really know what was going on, that she was receiving a lot of emails from the fund me people asking questions as to who set up the account etc and a detective got ahold of her and asked her to get in touch with me. Should I be concerned... Although no criminal charges have been filed.... Can I have a legal issue because of this. I clearly stated to the ********e team that the account was absolutely not set up as a fraudulent account... That it was set up by myself ( with the consent of another mutual friend to list her as the organizer.. And the only reason we listed her name is ***** ***** was closer with the intended beneficiary and ******** accounts say they should be set up by family or close friends to avoid scams... So we did) the funds were intended to be direct deposited into our friend's account and when I found out they were sent to my husband's I reached out to her to resolve the issue.... I don't know how I could possibly do anything more than work to resolve it and I didn't intentionally send the funds to my husband's account....I don't know why a detective would be involved if I am already in contact with the intended recepient and have agreed that I will just give her the funds directly. She claims she isn't getting answers from anyone and I really have no idea what to make of this. Could the ******** team have asked an investigator to look into the matter? It's not like anything that has happened they haven't been kept aware of, down too setting up another account to re-deposit the donations that they shut down? I have no problem answering any questions as I didn't set out to do anything misleading and my intentions were just to help our friend. If I have acknowledged the error and continue working to get it resolved could I face any legal issues?? Very frustrating that I can't contact the company directly and my last email has went unanswered. I was just trying to help a friend, I think I have been completely open about my intentions and when I found out the donations were deposited into my husband's account I started the process to resolve it. I don't know that I could do anything more than that? Until yesterday when I came home and found a card in my door from a detective asking me to please give him a call... So I am unsure now if I should be concerned when my only intention was to help a friend.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. Are you asking what to do if you are questioned by the police?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Maybe? I had a detective leave a card in my door asking me to please call him. I did because I had no idea why. When he mentioned the fundraising account mentioned above, I told him I had no problem answering any questions, but wanted to know why he was interested in asking me questions and I didn't get an accurate response, just that he wanted to talk to me about the fundraiser. I concluded the call with I will call you back. I have no issue stating my role in the online fundraiser that was set up for my friend, I didn't intentionally set out for this error to happen, however even though I have reached out to resolve it, and no criminal charges have been filed against me....I was caught off guard. I am not a lawyer, but I can only assume that if a detective comes to my house and leaves a card asking me to call's probably not an ideal situation and not knowing what kind of issues I am up against I am not sure if I should call him back or not?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.

My experience both as a prosecutor and defense attorney have convinced me that is is almost never in the best interest of the suspect to talk to police. I say I am sure it is possible that the police could dismiss a case after interviewing the suspect but in the thousands of cases I have seen, I have not seen that happen yet.

So the good rule to follow is NEVER (meaning, never) speak to law enforcement if you are a suspect. You have a right to remain silent. Use it.

IF they are investigating you, they believe you committed a crime.

It is HIGHLY unlikely you will convince them otherwise...but they will talk to you and try and gather evidence against you.

And...this is the important part...even if you are innocent it is a BAD IDEA to talk to police. They will try an get you to admit information that can be used against you.

Bot***** *****ne: invoke your right to remain is the best defense you have as a criminal suspect

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago.

Experts on this site (myself) are compensated ONLY if the customer (yourself) "rate" or "accept" the answer.

Please rate the answer so I may receive credit
Thanks for your understanding

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do you think I can contact an attorney even without any charges being filed against me? I am just not sure how to proceed...
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 11 months ago. can and should consider talking to local attorneys with experience in criminal law. That way IF you are charged? You have an attorney who can engage with the prosecution.

What you are describing it does not sound like you are guilty of anything...and a competent attorney could raise this with the prosecution in the unlikely event you are charged.