What t do if an ex-boss asked me to sell some office items that we’re in the building when he bought it but we had a falling out?

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2013

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What t do if an ex-boss asked me to sell some office items that we’re in the building when he bought it but we had a falling out?

One of the items was still at my house being tested. He then accused me of stealing it. Is this not illegal?

Asked on August 1, 2013 under Criminal Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you had permission from a legal owner of the item to sell it, the it was not theft to take it--of course, proving that could be difficult if it comes down your word against his. (While as the accused, the burden of proof is not on you--it's on your accuser--that doesn't change the fact that you could be charged, or even convicted, on his testimony if you have no evidence to support your version of events and if he is much more credible for some reason than you.)

Any question is whether your boss could lawfully let you take the item--was he the owner? Did the item belong to a prior occupant or tenant, who would not be deemed yet to have abandoned it? Or if it belongs to your business, is your boss the owner of the business--if he's not, he may not have been able to give you permission to take it.

If you can't work this out with your boss, you should retain an attorney if he does sue or press charges.

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