Once an employee has signed apromissory note regrading pay back of embezzled funds, can the employerstill decide to prosecute?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2011

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Once an employee has signed apromissory note regrading pay back of embezzled funds, can the employerstill decide to prosecute?

I had signature rights on accounts, and took paycheck advances. I did not pay back in a timely manner but never hid it in any way. I came clean to my employer and signed a promissory note to pay back. I tried to renegotiate the terms, as at the time I signed it I feared that I would be prosecuted for a felony. I did default on the note after paying thousands back. Can she now decided to file a police report and federal charges?

Asked on January 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The civil system--i.e. suing for lost or stolen money--and the criminal system--prosecuting for crimes--are wholly separate. Someone can be prosecuted even if they have entered into an agreement to repay money--and especially if they then defaulted on the agreement, since at that point, the situation could easily be characterized as one in which the employer at first excepted that the taking of money was a mistake, but then--when the repayment fell through, and the embezzler did not repay--realized that it was not a more-or-less innocent error but was instead theft. So it in fact would be very logical to press charges at that time, when you have now demonstrated that the company will not get the money you took back. So yes, a police report can be filed and charges pressed.

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