Person I contracted to complete project was a fraud and has my 10,000. How do I get it back?

I contracted an individual to complete a pool project. I wired her ‘business’ account 10,000. She did not complete any work and the contract date for completion is 04-20-2017. She has a record and was arrested for another offense recently. She reached out via e-mail with a bogus story and asked for more time to finish the project. I want my money back since she violated the contract. What do I do?

Asked on April 18, 2017 under Business Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue her for breach of contract (violating her agreement, whether oral or written, as to what she would do) and/or for fraud (lying to you about what she can or would do, to get you to hire her); possibly also theft by deception (stealing by deceit or trickery). Of course, if the money is gone or hidden and she does not have other assets you can reach, even if you win the lawsuit, you will not get anything--a court judgment in your favor does not money appear where there is none. This does not mean that you should not sue--but be aware that with scam artists, etc. who hide or waste/spend their money, it can be difficult to collect.

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