What to do about a breach of trust and larceny?

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What to do about a breach of trust and larceny?

I gave someone a friend power of attorney to receive a settlement of $170,000 but he used it for his personal use. Now he cannot pay me but is willing to give me a note. Is this a embezzlement or larceny, which will be criminal offense?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to contact the district attorney's office and file criminal charges for embezzlement. 

The crime is embezzlement because your friend was authorized to receive the settlement on your behalf pursuant to the power of attorney and then took the money instead of turning it over to you.

If your friend had not been authorized to receive the settlement by the power of attorney, and took the money, that would be larceny instead of embezzlement.  The distinction is that with embezzlement, he was authorized to receive the settlement on your behalf and then took it, while larceny would mean he was not authorized to receive the settlement and took it.

Larceny is the trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive.

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property or money by a person to whom it has been entrusted or to whose hands it has lawfully come. 


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