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: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

If an innocent person unknowingly accept a gift of

This answer was rated:

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?

Can you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't really put the question more clearly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It involves a charity to which fradulent money has been given and been accepted in good faith.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you need any more info Jo?

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 1 year ago.
That's all I can tell you now Jo

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 1 year 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 1 year ago.
I hope you will respect our conversations so far as private

You don't need to reveal any details.

It is just a circumstantial outline that I need.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perhaps if you were to give me the answer you have in mind that might solve the problem

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.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the person receiving the money would have to return it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is a waste of time giving money to charities to get rid of it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They will not benefit from it at all

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. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If someone accepts fraudulent money not knowing it to be so will he or she be expected to pay it back

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 1 year ago.
I pleased to know that the charities would be able to keep the money
Customer: replied 1 year 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

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 1 year ago.
What if it is in cheque?

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 1 year 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 1 year ago.
What about credit card subs
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is my chat with Jo over?

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 1 year 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?

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are the circumstances
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you mean the personal cheque or the visa?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you mean the cheque what are the circumstances?

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 1 year ago.
I really can't go into more detail Thanks for your advice

You are anonymous on here if that is your concern.