Can the company file a estafa case against my brother? 7 Answers as of February 19, 2013My brother is a former branch manager of a certain company. All money that are to be used for processing documents are deposited in to his personal account. The main branch will just inform him through text messages that the money has been deposited. It is not in a form of black and white. So my brother doesn't signed any written documents about it. For three years with this process, he was able to spent 217,000 of company own money that are deposited to his personal account for personal purposes. But the company doesn't know it. Until such time that he himself admitted to the crime that he committed and promise to pay it. He wrote a letter without even signature using his email account. asking for apology and he proposed on how he going to pay it. He is asking if he could pay it through his salary for two years. But the company immediately terminated him. And told him that they will file a criminal case against him. The email account is not under his name. Can they used the letter in the email as an evidence of the case even if there no signature in it after they terminated my brother they asked him to please sign the letter but my brother didn't sign to it. Can they still file an estafa case against my brother, even if the money is deposited into his personal account and doesn't even have a proper documentation on what and where the money will be used? Please answer me. I’m so worried about my brother. Thank you so much and God bless.
Peter Law Group | Marcus Lee
First off, this sounds like a very fact-intensive case, and your brother should definitely look into retaining an attorney to go through the facts more carefully. If I'm gathering this correctly, "estafa" is labeled embezzlement here. Working off that assumption, yes they can file an embezzlement claim against your brother, even if the entire arrangement wasn't properly delineated. Embezzlement occurs when someone who has 'lawful possession' over someone else' property exerts 'unlawful ownership and control' over that property. So if I loaned you my cell phone for a few hours, you have lawful possession over it but not lawful ownership. The second you decide that you aren't giving the cell phone back, you've exerted unlawful ownership and control over it and have committed embezzlement. So even if the paperwork on the company's bank account arrangement isn't black and white, the money was owned by the company. The second your brother exerted ownership and control over that money, that's when embezzlement occurred. That being said, again, this sounds like a very fact-intensive case. It would take an attorney sifting through the facts to determine what really happened here and whether your brother may have any decent defenses.
Answer Applies to: California
The Niskar Law Firm, PLLC | Joey Niskar
I am uncertain what an "Estafa" case is. It sounds like the company may be referring to an embezzlement case, but I am not sure. This appears to me to be a matter of criminal law, as opposed to employment law. Your brother should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer, and not speak to anyone about the matter other than his criminal defense lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
I am unable to give you an answer that you can rely on. I do not know what this is estafa case This much I can say with confidence: Your brother should immediately retain an attorney that handles criminal cases, particularly what are known as WHITE COLLAR CRIMES. He will need an attorney eventually. The sooner the better, since this attorney can perhaps work out a settlement, perhaps avoid prosecution entirely, or in any event, stop your brother from doing more things that will incriminate him. Everything he says CAN AND WILL BE used against him. The EXCLUSIONARY RULE, which keeps out certain evidence, applies only to police. It does not apply to his employer. He can tell them nothing in confidence. Unsigned documents can be used in evidence, including e-mails. Lawyers joke that the E in E-mail stands for Evidence-Mail. There is a common misconception that technicalities as you state some how make problems go away. That is rarely true. Using a defense like "it was my personal account" will not work, and it will make him look even more like a criminal. He saw the money there, he knew it was being deposited. Will any one believe he did not know that he had an additional $217,000, and he mistakenly confused this with his earned income.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
Your brother needs to immediately consult with a criminal-defense attorney. You need to immediately stop posting anything about his case on line, so that it does not fall into the hands of the prosecution and risk being used against him in court.
Answer Applies to: California