Who isliable for cashing a stolen check?

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Who isliable for cashing a stolen check?

A government issued child support check is stolen from the payee. The person who stole the check does not sign or cash the check but gives it to someone else to do so. The other person signs and cashes the check and gives the money to the person who originally stole the check. Who is legally responsible for the cashing of this check? Can the person who stole the check be prosecuted for anything?

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Did the person cashing the check know that it was stolen? If so, they bear criminal responsibility.  They are guilty of check fraud, larceny, forgery and ID theft to name a few offenses.  If they were somehow innocently duped into cashing the check, and could convince the authorities of this, then the prosecutor would in all likelihood decline to press charges.  But the person who stole the check would still face severe legal repercussions.

Note:  The entity that cashed the check would also bare responsibility at least civilly (if not criminally, depending on whether or not they willing took part in the fraud).


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