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I used my Travel and Expense company credit cards for

Customer Question
I used my Travel...

I used my Travel and Expense company credit cards for personal expenses. I was placed on administrative leave pending investigation. Will I be prosecuted for criminal charges?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And when did the issue begin?

Florida. The issue began in 2015

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will full time

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/27/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,076
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Did you pay back the money? Did you have a reasonable belief that the personal expenses were authorized if paid back? What is your explanation for what happened?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I believed that the company would debit the amounts from my paycheck. However, the deduction never occurred. I used my company card from 2015-2017 for personal expenses. I thought the company would deduct my payroll check. Today I was called into a meeting with my boss, an internal investigator and HR. They informed me that was not the policy. And I was placed on administrative leave pending investigation
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you. So did you notify your employer of these personal purchases with the card? Otherwise, how would you expect them to know what was personal and deduct it? Also, did you ever bring it to your employer's attention that these amounts were not being deducted as you believed they would be?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I verbally told the Travel and Expense report coordinator they were personal charges. No, I never reported the amounts not being deducted
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you. So if I am understanding correctly, for each month in which you made personal purchases you informed the travel coordinator of this and you specifically identified the charges? Would they testify to this effect?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
the charges and receipts were uploaded electronically. And no they will not testify to this effect
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I do admit once I realized these charges were being reimbursed that I should have said something. And I continued to use my company card for personal use anyway.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you. I'm asking all these questions because I'm trying to determine if there is any plausible argument for this being unintentional. To be honest, I don't see a good argument to that effect since the one person who would corroborate your claim to have consistently informed of personal purchases apparently won't back you up, and since you continued making personal purchases after knowing they were not being deducted from your paycheck.

This does pose a risk of criminal consequences. That doesn't mean you will positively be criminally charged. Some employers prefer to resolve matters like this internally without involving the police. An employer's willingness to do that usually depends on whether the amounts are paid back and the total amount of the unauthorized charges. The larger the amount, obviously the more serious the matter becomes and the more likely the employer is to go to the police, especially if the money is not repaid. I would definitely do everything you can to repay your employer as soon as possible, even if that means doing a credit card balance transfer, obtaining a loan, or something else along those lines.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My employer asked me to write a statement saying why and how I used the card for personal expenses. And if I would repay the amount. It totals 60k
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you. What is your question please?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Should I seek a criminal attorney?
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you.

Based on what you have described, I must be honest that it is extremely likely you will be fired. Right now, it seems like your employer is looking more for admissions from you and other evidence to build a criminal case. I would not serve that up for your employer on a silver platter. You have nothing to gain, and much to potentially lose. I would retain a criminal attorney if you are contacted by the police and refuse to speak to the police without my attorney present.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is this a case where this would be a felony criminal case of fraud?
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes, given the amount this would likely be prosecuted as a felony.

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Was there anything else I can do for you before we wrap up?

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Did we lose our connection?

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