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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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One of our work colleagues set up a lottery syndicate over 15 months ago and over thirty

Customer Question

One of our work colleagues set up a lottery syndicate over 15 months ago and over thirty of us were paying in on average of £10 per month each. The agreement being we were to have any winnings distributed at Christmas 2015. As the time drew nearer and people began to ask for the money she went off on sick leave. She came back for a few days in January and again members of staff asked for their money. She then went sick again. Two months on and despite repeated requests from myself and other members of staff for her to return the money she has so far came up with excuse after excuse, even going so far as to accuse us of harassment. I went to the police at the weekend and filed a report and they advise that we should go to her door and ask her for the money and if she refuses or says no (I must point out she continues to maintain she has the money but it is circumstances that prevent her from handing it over to us) We have offered to go to her house and pick it up. Each time arrangemen
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. I think your question was cut short can you please provide the missing details?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, a colleague of ours set up a lottery syndicate around 15 months ago, there were around thirty of us in the syndicate. The agreement was that what ever was in the pot would be distributed around December 2015. As the date drew near the person went on sick leave, coming back for a few days in January and going on sick leave again when asked for the money. We are now two months on and despite repeated requests from various colleagues including myself she has not been forthcoming with the money. Arrangements have been made for various members of staff to go and collect the money from her but on the pre arranged date she comes up with an excuse as to why we can not go to her house(she is still on sick leave) I have been to the police and filed a report but they have informed me that they will not proceed with an investigation until we have gone to her door and asked her personally for the money. I do not wish to do this as I do not want it to become confrontational.While we no longer have the original paperwork I do have text messages from her confirming the lottery syndicate and the money that was to be issued. I also have all the messages relating to arrangements made for collection and her reasons for cancelling on the day. Do we have any redress.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already sent a letter recorded delivery to her asking for the money and she has acknowledged receipt by text and again confirmed she has the money and is sorry we felt we had to take this action. In the letter I gave her fourteen days to bring the money to work or hand it to someone she could trust. That date has passed. We have kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that she has spent the money and we will probably not get it back but I and my colleagues do not want her to get away with this.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
How much does she owe?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Around 2K, it may be more if she has taken the 300 per month and not bought any tickets for the past 15 months. We have asked her to provide all the receipts as well.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You have a couple of option here. One is to treat this as theft and report it to the police, which you have already done. However, they may view this as a civil matter and refuse to act. To amount to theft it must be shown that she had the intention to permanently deprive you of the money in the first place. If she is having difficulties paying at the money or intentionally delaying doing so, then that is not theft. To be honest it is for the police to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to treat this as theft and take it further so all you can do is report it to them and then it is on their hands. If they do not assist you with this you can pursue it as a breach of contract matter. There would have been a contract, even if verbal, that you paid the money and it was to be shared between all. If she is now refusing to do this then she will be acting in breach of contract and you can pursue her for the money owed. You can eventually make a claim in the small claims court for this, and it is a relatively low risk option, but try and resolve it with her directly if you can first. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the specific steps you need to follow should you decide to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have asked her to be honest with me and say if she has spent the money, it happens and assured he we could come to some arrangements regarding payment, but she still continues to insist she has the money.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You can try and negotiate with her over a repayment but if it comes to it you could take the next steps to pursue his. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for all your help.We will take your advise and use it. Money well spent.Sharon McColm
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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