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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Theft repayment plan proposal . Good Morning, Six

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Theft repayment plan proposal for company.
Good Morning,
Six weeks ago I admitted to theft from a company I was working for through an agency. The theft took place over a 20 month period although I had been only working for them on two separate occasions for a total of twelve months with an eight month gap in between.
I was interviewed by the company (without representation) and admitted to the theft and agreed to co-operate fully. I returned items I still had in my possession and provided all PayPal transactions for the items sold (items were sold via. Ebay). I even offered to repay a lump sum of money in addition to saying that I was willing to pay back the remainder as best I could. I even offered to apologise in person to whoever was willing to listen.
I have recently received a letter from the company explaining that I have contravened the Theft Act 1968 and could be subject to prosecution. The letter also stated that they have spent some time considering whether or not this offence should be reported to the police. They have however also stated that they have taken into account my full co-operation and my proposal to fully compensate the losses the company has suffered, and to not involve the police in this case (subject to the repayment).
The letter I received stated the total amount of losses and given me seven days to pay the lump sum I promised at the interview and to provide the company with a repayment plan for the remainder - which they have said needs to be acceptable to the company.
The letter also states that in the event a repayment proposal cannot be agreed that the company may have to seek reimbursement of any outstanding sums due through the civil and the criminal courts.
I will be speaking to my solicitor about this to hopefully get some advice and have a response sent back to the company.
My greatest fear is that my repayment proposal will be rejected, as my income barely covers the monthly bills as it stands, and my proposal will mean a repayment period of around 20 years. I am afraid that the company will take me to civil court and I may lose my home in order to repay part of the cost and my family will become homeless.
The amount to source funds for is between £65,000 and £75,000, and the equity and assets in my home is much less than that (especially taking into account any fees, court costs and fines).
Despite the fact that I am soon to be getting legal advice from my local solicitor, I was hoping perhaps somebody could advise me in some shape or form as to the case details I have mentioned above. Is the company likely to refuse my proposal? Will the company be wanting to avoid going to court due to the bad publicity it may bring them? Are there any options or avenues available to me that I haven't considered?
Any advice and / or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Bob
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex,Hope you are well.I was hoping perhaps you could advise me in some shape or form as to the case details I have mentioned above e.g. is it likely the company will refuse my proposal? Will the company be wanting to avoid going to court due to the bad publicity it may bring them? Are there any options or avenues available to me that I haven't considered?From what I have read on the internet (which I realise should be taken with a pinch of salt in some cases), some companies (particularly large international companies) seem to prefer to keep everything internal and avoid as much as possible going to court in order to avoid bad publicity despite who is to blame. In my case, I am sure the company could simply report the theft to the police, claim on their insurance after having obtained a police case number, and then their loss is quickly resolved.Although I am somewhat relieved that the company have not involved the police (so far) it does make me wonder if they either can't provide sufficient evidence of the loss to their insurance (and they believe I am the only way they are going to get most if not all of the money they are due) or they simply want to keep it internal. Of course it could be that they are simply just giving me a chance.To be honest, any advice and / or opinions would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks. Bob.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
How much was taken and what is your proposal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, the total loss is £90,000, which after my initial repayment comes down to £70,000.My proposal is a minimum repayment of between £200 - £400 per month (starting off with a low offer at first as they will probably reject my initial proposal). I also intend on adding that it is my intention to make over payments when possible with the aim to fully repay much sooner than the projected timescale, should my financial circumstances improve e.g. better paid job in the future, overtime, secured loan on my home, etc. This repayment is taking into account my existing living expenses and pretty much consumes all my income - but at least my family is supported.I am assuming that the total loss doesn't just include the items. It will more than likely include their costs investigating as well. My fear is that the company will still refuse my repayment terms (I may be wrong) but I can't see how they can expect much more when you consider the average working persons income.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I think the difficulty you have is that even at £400 a month it will take 14.5 years to pay off the debt and that excludes any costs as you say and interest which they may be entitled to.
If you can remortgage at all that would help. You need to avoid Court as you are likely to be sent to prison and still have to repay the debt. I dont know whether they will reject it or not, but it does appear to be a very low amount.
What you could offer is this low amount but with a second charge on your property. This makes the debt secure and in the event you default they could apply to sell your house. That may convince them as it makes the debt secure and they know the property will go up in value.
I am sorry its not better news and its not the answer I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What in your opinion do you believe would be considered a realistic monthly figure - just for me to see roughly what a typical repayment proposal may look like for this amount?If the company is expecting much more, then any proposal I offer almost appears to be a pointless exercise, and only offered as part of a formality within their code of practice - although I am obviously going to try. After all, the company has requested that I do so.You mentioned offering a second charge on my property when offering the low figure to the company. How exactly is this done? Is it a carefully worded legally binding statement that my local solicitor would be able to type up for me?If some how, some day, I manage to repay the debt, in your opinion do you think the company would still consider prosecuting or do you think they will consider the case closed - and I can move on? I appreciate and understand your answer is purely speculative and cannot be considered binding. I'm just curious, as it would be pretty upsetting if after repayment, the company still decides to go ahead and prosecute - although having repaid my debt should go in my favour if my case ever went to a criminal court.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
In reality you probably want to get it paid off within 5 years. You dont want this hanging over your neck.
In terms of a charge, you allow them to place a restriction on a property. The cost to them is the £50 land registration fee, thats it. They fill out a form, you sign it and the restriction is placed. You or your Solicitor can offer this to them.
Whatever you decide you need to make sure they agree this is in full and final settlement and that they agree once repaid they wont take it to Court.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi yes, that helps to know that. I didn't realise that was a viable option I could use - thank you for that.One last question...I appreciate that the strongly worded letter I have received from the company is intended to be intimidating and to get my attention (as well as being professional and factual). Despite this, in your opinion, do you believe that the company would encourage negotiating a repayment proposal in order to keep it out of the courts wherever and however possible? I am thinking along the lines of the company trying to avoid public and media knowledge of the details involved - as I'm sure there is usually someone from the media sat in the court taking notes. Again, I understand your answer would be speculative only.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Not necessarily - its a commercial decision for them. If I was advising them I would suggest take it to Court.
Does that help?
Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes it helps to understand where I stand.According to the sentencing guidelines, if it went to a criminal court, I would be inside the second category in terms of the value of loss, and I assume the top category for the culpability level (which I guess most people in my position would be in by default). The 'best' outcome would be a suspended sentence but I don't know what the requirements would be to be given a chance of that.At the end of the day, I am trying to make amends for my misguided actions. I don't know what I was thinking to even consider theft as a reasonable and excusable way to provide for my family - despite feeling desperate. I didn't consider the consequences and all I want to do now is repay the company and ensure my family is provided for. What happens to me to be honest is irrelevant. My family is what matters most, and hopefully the company will help me to put my life back on track. The best Christmas present would be for the company to accept my proposal and be able to provide my family the life they deserve.Many thanks for all your advice!Take care.Bob.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I dont think you could avoid custody as its breach of trust and a large value. I think you are looking at 1-2 years and maybe a suspended sentence.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you know what determines a suspended sentence as opposed to spending time in prison (albeit half in prison and half on license)? I'm hoping a guilty plea would help reduce my sentence by at least a third with additional reductions based on wanting to repay, feeling remorse, etc.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Depends on the outcome of pre sentence report and previous offending.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have never previously offended.I'm assuming the pre sentence report would detail my co-operation with the company and police as well as the loss value and damage to the company (positive and negative aspects).I will look into what the pre sentence report is all about. Perhaps there is something I can do to improve the outcome of the report. Hopefully showing a willingness to repay the debt but the inability to physically do it, won't go against me.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes indeed. Good luck with this, but try and sort it out with the company concerned.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks. I will certainly try. I would like to think that because the company has at least allowed me the chance, that they will be understanding and reasonable about my proposal.Many thanks Alex. You have certainly helped to clarify many points and you have helped me immensely when I speak to my local solicitor this week. Fingers crossed!Kind regards,Bob.