If I am being accused of theft from my former employer, what are my options and what do I need to do?

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If I am being accused of theft from my former employer, what are my options and what do I need to do?

It has been 1 1/2 years since I was let go. I am trying to work with my former employer to pay back the money but he is wanting a large sum down payment which I do not have. My husband and I are tryng to refinance our house to obtain the lump sum but because of poor credit have been unable to. We are willing to work something out but he is giving us only 3 weeks to come up with a large sum before charges are filed.

Asked on January 5, 2015 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Technically, what your former employer is doing is illegal: someone is not allowed to use the threat of criminal prosecution to induce someone to pay or repay money. That said, if you did steal, you could face charges--i.e. they could report you to the police whether or not you pay--and could be sued for all amounts you stole, plus possibly additional sums (e.g. legal or colletions costs). You should 1) speak with an attorney in detail about the situation *immediately*--with what I assume is a great deal of money on the line plus the possibility of jail time, it is foolish to not retain a lawyer; adn 2) do NOT speak with anyone else about this until and unless you speak to your lawyer: as the saying goes, anything you say can be used against you.


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