What should I do regarding possible gift card theft trouble?

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What should I do regarding possible gift card theft trouble?

I found a gift card on the corner of my road as I was leaving for work 100 to
Ulta. I spent the gift card thinking it was my lucky day. I later found out the
card belonged to my ex-roommate who reported it stolen. She has had large amounts
of money stolen recently and will think it was all me I believe. There was a
police report made and I believe they are trying to access Ulta’s security
footage.

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

We cannot advise you what to do or not do in this case, since that would be practicing law on your behalf (advising what you should do in a specific legal context). What we can do is explain that:
1) You are certainly responsible to pay back the ex-roommate, assuming she can show or establish the card was hers: you cannot take another's money or property simply because you found it.
2) If there is evidence strongly suggesting that you did steal the card (even if you in fact did not), such as you having access to where she had kept it, you and your ex having "bad blood" between you (giving you motive), other items or money having been stolen when you lived with her (so showing a pattern involving you) you could face criminal charges. The authorities do not know what did in fact happen--they only know what the evidence suggests.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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