If we had an employee who no longer works for us sign state and federal documents with an alias name, can we be held liable if we are audited?

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If we had an employee who no longer works for us sign state and federal documents with an alias name, can we be held liable if we are audited?

Also, could we prosecute her for falsification of documents. This woman is no longer working for us but still has proprietary information which she has never returned. She signed I9’s, etc.

Asked on January 18, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) You are not liable for the criminal acts--signing with a false or alias name--of another. You could be liable for concealing that fact after knowing of it. You may need to disclose this to the relevant agencies voluntarily and affirmatively, rather than waiting util you are audited. You are advised to consult in detail with an attorney with some background in administrative law or government contracting.

2) You do not prosecute anyone--the state does. You could therefore report this to the relevant federal or state law enforcement agency (e.g. state attorney's general office; U.S. Attorney) and may wish to discuss doing so with an attorney.

3) You could sue her for the return of the proprietary information and/or for damages--compensation--if her taking of that information has caused you harm.


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