What can happen to me ifI cask a check mistakenly sent to me?

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What can happen to me ifI cask a check mistakenly sent to me?

I received what appears to be a valid check from a manufacturing company. I have never done business with this company, or dealt with them in any manner. What are the repercussions if any, if I cash the check?

Asked on September 6, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are not entitled to this money, the company could ask for it back--and if you don't provide it back, they could, if necessary, sue you for it. The mere fact of mistakenly being sent someone else's money, assets, etc. does not entitle you to it.

2) Theoretically, if you cash the check knowing you have no right or entitlement to it, you could be committing a crime and therefore face criminal liability, too (innocently but mistakenly cashing it would only incur the obligation to repay; but knowingly taking someone's money could be theft).

The short answer is, there is, unfortunately, no right to keep property or money sent you by mistake.


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