What to do if my ex-wife stole money from me while I was incarcerated?

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What to do if my ex-wife stole money from me while I was incarcerated?

My ex-wife collected my unemployment the entire 7 months that I was incarcerated. She also filed my income taxes, and cashed a $6000 check in my name. Is this illegal? If so, what can I do to recoup the money that was stolen from me? Also, can she get into any trouble legally?

Asked on November 23, 2010 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were divorced, she could not file your income taxes for  you. (If you were still married at the time, depending on circumstances, she *may* have been able to file jointly.) Also, if you were actually divorced at the time, she'd have no right to collect your unemployment or cash a check in your name (again, depending on the circumstances, if she was still legally married to then, she may have been able to do these things).

If you were divorced when what you write about happened, your ex-wife stole from you and/or from the government. You could sue her for the money she took from you; report her to unemployment; report her to the tax authorities; and possible report  her to the police. Ideally, you should speak with an attorney before doing any of these things, because again, depending in circumstances, it's not impossible you could incur some liablility for certain of these things. (For example, if you in any way collaborated in applying for unemployment while incarcerated; you are not eligible for unemployment compensation while in jail.)


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