Measures To Take When Your Business Partner Is Stealing Money
How To Deal With a Business Partner Who Is Stealing From The Company
Learning that your business partner is stealing money from your business can be devastating. You may have had deep trust in this person, and you may feel betrayed, sad, and angry. The first thing you’ll have to do is get over the shock of what you have learned. The second thing you’ll need to do is call the best business attorney you can find to discuss your legal options.
You may not want to have a contentious legal battle with your business partner, but you may not know the extent of the theft, and you may not be prepared for the fight the person will put up to defend themselves. If you want to get real justice and remedy, you will need to work closely with a Peoria business lawyer to negotiate or litigate a resolution.
Understanding The Types Of Theft
There are many things a court will consider when determining theft. First, it is important to know that theft can occur between many types of business partners, including actual people and other businesses. Your “partner” could be a vendor, a contractor, or another business engaged in a mutual enterprise with you.
There are several different types of theft the court can consider:
- Theft of physical property
- Theft of intellectual property
- Breach of fiduciary duty
Theft of physical property is pretty straightforward. Someone steals cash or property from your business, such as taking money out of the cash register or stealing a computer. Intellectual property theft involves someone stealing your proprietary processes or information, such as a unique recipe, software program, or so on.
Fraud involves a partner taking money under the guise of using it for the business but then using it for personal reasons or another business venture instead. You will have to prove that your partner intentionally lied to prove fraud, and you will have to prove that you had reason to believe in the person and rely on them. For example, if your partner was known to be an untrustworthy person, you may have trouble proving that you reasonably relied on his or her representations.
Embezzlement involves the partner taking money or assets from the business over time. It is both a civil and criminal offense, and it can result in fines and even jail time.
Breach of fiduciary duty involves violating a relationship in which one partner is under a legal duty to act for the benefit of the other. An example would include one partner taking money from a business that belongs to the business, thereby violating their fiduciary duty involving their financial access to the account.
What To Do If You Know Your Partner Has Stolen Assets
You will need to call a Tempe business attorney and discuss your legal options if you suspect that your partner has stolen from the business in one of these ways. Your attorney will likely tell you that the next steps involve:
- Gathering evidence. Collect whatever you can to prove that money or other assets have been stolen and that they have been stolen by your partner. Collect receipts, statement accounts, and anything else you can think of to show the flow of money or chain of custody of equipment. If you have cameras in your place of business, you can also pull the footage.
- Decide on a legal strategy. Talk to your business attorney about what kind of theft this is and what kind of path you want to pursue, such as negotiation, litigation, or criminal prosecution.
- Work with your attorney on dissolving the partnership–which is likely to raise many other legal and practical issues that a lawyer can help you with.
Your attorney will guide you through each state of the process to help you get an adequate remedy and try to recover what was stolen. That might include negotiations, a civil lawsuit, or criminal charges.
Hire a Reliable Business Lawyer In Mesa, AZ
The attorneys at Denton Peterson Dunn will pursue every legal strategy to get the redress that you deserve for the damages you have suffered. We can help you gather the appropriate evidence to prove the theft and the damages that it caused, and we can pursue civil and legal damages. We work with investigators and other experts, where necessary, to create the strongest case possible to get the outcome you deserve. Contact us in Mesa, Scottsdale, or Phoenix today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced litigators and learn more about your options.