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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69532
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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If an innocent person unknowingly accept a gift of

Customer Question

If an innocent person unknowingly accept a gift of fraudulent money and uses it for a good cause will they be expected to return the money?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Can you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can't really put the question more clearly
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It involves a charity to which fradulent money has been given and been accepted in good faith.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do you need any more info Jo?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

I am really going to need to know the context.

How did you come to receive fraudulent obtained money?

Why are you being expected to return it now?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
That's all I can tell you now Jo
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Sorry, can't really answer reliably then.

I could give you an answer to the specific question you have asked but it might well be wrong for your circumstances.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks anyway Jo but as I understand our client/lawyer confidentiality doesn't apply here I don't want to get a third innocent party involved
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I hope you will respect our conversations so far as private
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

You don't need to reveal any details.

It is just a circumstantial outline that I need.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Perhaps if you were to give me the answer you have in mind that might solve the problem
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

I'm not sure it would really.

It is a question that depends on the circumstances.

The starting point is that a person who accepts an unlawful item without knowledge is not guilty from the point of view of the criminal law. That does not mean it cannot be recovered in civil law or in POCA proceedings if it is tainted with illegality.

There may be a defence to that, for instance, the innocent purchaser defence although that applies to cars not money.

Money is rather different for lots of reasons. The obvious one being that the exact coins and pounds cannot be recovered obviously but they can easily be replaced with others so it is generally easier to recover money than any other stolen or fraudulently obtained item.

If you can give me any idea of the situation I would probably be able to offer more.

Jo

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the person receiving the money would have to return it?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it is a waste of time giving money to charities to get rid of it?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They will not benefit from it at all
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Giving it to charities is a waste of time. That would not change liability. The charity would get to keep it. It would just not provide a defence to her liability.

But it depends how this came about.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69532
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If someone accepts fraudulent money not knowing it to be so will he or she be expected to pay it back
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

He wouldn't be liable from a criminal point of view if the decision is that such a person genuinely did not know.

Therefore there shouldn't be a POCA application.

But from a civil point of view the money could be recovered if it was obtained without basis. It depends how it came about and in what was the transfers were made. If you can give me more information upon that I could tell you whether there is liability in civil law.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I pleased to know that the charities would be able to keep the money
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The charities are for groups like the RSPCA and military charities. Would they lose out? Would there be a lot of hassle for them over this money and might it be taken from them
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Not if it is cash.

if you passed on a product like a car then they would be able to recover that but the money should not be recoverable from an innocent third party.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What if it is in cheque?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

No, you should be fine with that. It is a slightly differently legal concept to cash but doesn't change much in practice.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
there is no problem about a charity accepting a donation by cheque when they didn't know it was fraudulent? How would the fraudulent cheque or cash be known to be so?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What about credit card subs
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is my chat with Jo over?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

No, Im here.

There wouldn't be any issue with a charity receiving money. They would not be in position to say whether it was clean money or not.

The giver though would still be liable potentially.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can ones own personal cheque be fraudulent if there are sufficient funds in ones bank to cover it? Can a credit card transection be fraudulent?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

Yes, it depends on the circumstances.But yes it could.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What are the circumstances
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do you mean the personal cheque or the visa?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If you mean the cheque what are the circumstances?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

It is not really possible to go through all the ways fraud can be committed. There are millions of ways.

if you tell me what has happened I will be happy to tel you if that is fraud or not.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I really can't go into more detail Thanks for your advice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 months ago.

You are anonymous on here if that is your concern.

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