How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I gave money (several thousand) to a friend few years ago when

This answer was rated:

I gave money (several thousand) to a friend few years ago when his business was in trouble (at least that's what he had told me) and it looks like he is a fraud and has got a malicious intent in that he has not got any plans to return my money as he keeps saying nice words but never has given any money back. I also understand from mutual friends he has done similar dealings. I didn't write any agreement with him but have several SMS messages which confirms that he has taken the money and not yet returned. Is there any way I can proceed legally to recover my money, and yes I have transferred money to the account details provided by him which is all in the SMS messages.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Whats the sum in question please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo,


It was for twenty thousand pounds. I had take money out of my mortgage and give it on a friendly basis.


Is this person in work?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No he is a mutual friend. First he portrayed himself as a Entreprenuer he took money from my friend to invest in his business (his case is slightly complicated but the money he made him invest in his business is around £50K and cash he took from him is around £18K) and on one fine day he started saying there is some lease problem with his business premise and if they don't put enough money as deposit the bank is going to take the business back, but on interrogation we found he has no association with that business. Overall he's just been lying a lot but he never said that he won't give the money but just keep postponing. I am really down with the overall thing as on humanity basis i gave him this money and he is just playing games saying he's got problems and no money etc. So I really would like to know what my options are, are SMS messages of any use to go legally against him?

No, but does he have a job? Or assets?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't think he has any proper job, I never understood what he does for living and that was part of the problem. I am not sure about the assets, even if there are any he would have moved it his home country. So I would think it will be hard to track.


Can the on-line transfers into his account of be any use?


There must be a way to put a case against this liar and crook? In hindsight I feel this was all a kind of organised plan to cheat people (as he has done this with more than one person), surely innocent people like me must have something to go with in a civilised society like ours?




The difficulty here is not getting judgment against him.

You need to send him a letter before action setting down that he has 28 days to pay and, in default, you will sue. If he does not pay then you can issue here

There should be no issue with getting a judgment against him. If you can show that such a large transfer was made then the court will presume there was an agreement to repay anyway and the SMS messages will help.

The problem here will be getting the money from him. If he had been in work I would have suggested an attachment to earnings but that isn't going to help here.

You can always use bailiffs or seek a charging order against any property that he owns.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX question, if I do go down the route that you suggested what part of the law does this case fall under (in case I need to visit a brick and mortar lawyer) is it criminal law, general law etc?

If you want to recover the money then you need to sue for breach of contract.

I suppose you could argue that this is a fraud as well but the police would probably say its a civil matter and anyway even if he is prosecuted that doesn't recover your money.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can not know what money/properties he has got, if the judgment is in my favour is there a legal way to find out if he has any assets. I also believe he may be doing some illegal businesses as well, will the court help in such investigations so that we can file a fraud case?


In the end, even if I am not able to recover my money, I want to teach him a lesson so that he won't go about cheating any other innocent people like me.


Jo, thanks for your help this evening, it looks like I may have a small chance, we all live with hopes so not a bad ending :)

The Court will give him 28 days to pay and in default entertain a variation order but will consider his assets.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will you also be able to help with taking the matters further (when I've decided) or should I go and see a Lawyer in person?


If you do, how does that work?

You would need to see a solicitor in person I'm afraid.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no problem, thanks and I will remember to come back to you for any other further advice.

No problem.

all the best.