Fraud, Embezzlement, Bad Checks Statute of Limitation in Embezzlement

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I am 60; I've just discovered embezzlement that occurred 50 years ago. I was seriously injured in a speeding truck vs bicycle accident and required many months of hospitalization to recover. A litigation ensued, an award was made in my favor and placed under the guardianship of my parents. When I turned 18 I was told, "Here is your lawsuit money." I uncovered papers last year that show that I was given only half of the award. The remainder was kept by my parents. Is there any reason I cannot ask the court to assist me in recovering the remainder of the funds (plus interest) at this time? Thank you.
This is state specific. What state are you in?
Thank you both for your questions. (Sorry for the delay in responding.)
My father is deceased, my mother is 82; and the State of residence at the time of the accident was New York State.

My mother currently resides in Arizona where I also qualify as a resident, but I have spent considerable time in California. Hope that's not too confusing.

Again, I discovered this information within the year and have a document from the original attorney charging my parents with the responsibility for caring for the funds until I became of age.

Thank you in advance for your opinions.

I neglected to add that when questioned about it, my mother readily admits taking the money, pointing out that she and my father "suffered great emotional distress" in having to visit me and see me in traction etc in the hospital those many months. [I had suffered multiple fractures and head injury.]
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So, are you disputing the fees by the attorney?
No. The attorney acted appropriately, I believe. He placed my parents in charge of overseeing the funds until I reached age 18. I am disputing the misappropriation of funds that were awarded to me.

That is, misappropriation by my parents.
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Added note:
Had I suspected wrongdoing at age 18, I would have pursued it.
I was in college at the time, recently married and shortly after concerned with parenting my own children.

Had I not stumbled upon the legal papers of 50 years ago in a old file, as I was helping my mother with her life as an elderly person, I would never have realized what had happened.
Here is the sticky point: there are two issues here.

The first one is the legal issue, which is, I am under the impression you are going to sue your mom for funds taken alledgedly without your authorization, however, there are many unkowns on your postings such as did your mom use those funds innappropriately? What were the funds used at? And how much are we talking about? Did you find back ups to substantiate the inappropriate use of those funds? What did the agreement negotiated by the attorney say regarding the use of the funds and who would have access to it until the age you were to receive it? Are you willing to sue your mom to recover the amount she alledgedly misappropriated from you?

The second issue here is the statue of limitations. In New York, depending on what type of criminal action, the statue applies from the time of discovery.

The best thing for you to do is to sit down with an attorney, provide as much detail as you can and discuss your options. Hope this helps and good luck to you!
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Thank you for your advice.

The short answer to your question is that the funds were used by my parents for their personal use. There were no extended medical costs. Medical costs were all covered by the truck driver's insurance company.

The original court documents indicate that the award was made to me and that my parents were to act as guardian until my 18th birthday. Of course, at this time, it is impossible to retrieve records of how my parents spent the money.

As I say, my mother freely admits taking the money.

My parents grew up in the depression years; the amount of money, although small by today's standards, was the equivalent of two years' salary for my father. A tempting sum, I can imagine.
Thank you again.
have you asked your mother to pay you back the amount? I'm just wondering if even you win the case against her, which could take forever, she'd have no money to give you? She may be living just on retirement, etc., much of which can't be touched. So you were wronged, but it's possible that the legal system has no remedy for you.
I guess the question is: Are you going to sue mom IF you can?

I strongly suspect that ANY statute of limitations ran out on this decades ago ... but, the state in question might adhere strictly to an SOL that starts from the time the act was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered - that latter part might be the rub.

In any event, if you do not intend to sue mom, or she has no assets that you wish to suck out of her, then I would think there is little point in doing what would likely be additional permanent damage to whatever relationships exist within the family. I seriously doubt other family members would appreciate your suing her onto the streets, so you may want to take the entire picture into consideration when you consult an attorney.

- Carl
To: Notalawyer1,

I read your post while searching for information about the same subject here in California. While doing so I discovered an atrocity of major perortions caused by the District Attorney's office, Sheriff's Department and those in charge of the protection of children or minors who are still in school, have not graduated or earned their adulthood legally and are under legal age.

I was forced to work full time since the age of eight years old after school, weekends, holidays and sometimes held two jobs during the summers or worked up to sixteen hours a day on many days. What's more interesting is that almost every single employer I worked for who were usually friends of my parents through church or were introduced by by friends, all or mostly all did in fact report my earnings to social security. So I have proof positive of my claims here.

During my junior year in high school, I was a manager for a drive through dairy and of course only had to supervise one or two employees who I usually trained. I went to work from school directly and usually got home around by midnight, slept and went back to school in the morning. I was always tired and my grades were horrible. After I went to my music class my instructor asked me where my guitar was and I told her the truth that my parents sold my guitar and the same thing happened in my photography class when my father caught me with my SLR camera I purchased from tips I never told my parents about as was the case with the guitar. I also purchased a Boss 302 Mustang that recently sold at a million dollar auction for four hundred thousand dollars. I paid five hundred dollars from an elderly man who sold it to me because he wanted someone like me who would appreciate a real car and I helped him with some work he needed around his property for an hour a day when I had a chance. My father sold the mustang for eight hundred dollars while I was at work one day and there was nothing I could do about that. I ended up buying an old ten speed to go to work instead.

My instructors sent me to the vice principle's office and the vice principle had my social security records in front of him and he began asking questions that I was so afraid to answer due to the abuse and threats I received from my parents for as long as I could remember. My parents used what is called a razor strap which is used by barbers to sharpen the old straight razors. My dad was a barber before working for the city in a low paying job and never moved up. My mother rarely worked and when she did we were left alone for the most part or working. When they used razor straps it was usually to bare skin on my buttocks, back, legs or wherever it landed with complete full force by my parents. My dad was very strong and later in life I was left severely disabled and had surgeries to my lower back, hip and other areas to repair the damage caused by very hard labor jobs while working as a minor. I worked in steel yards where I lifted tons of metal a day and moved them around the yard with a forklift. One teacher caught me driving a large water truck to San Francisco from San Jose round trip I had to use to wash large diesel trucks and trailers besides new cars on car lots for eight to ten hours a day at the age of thirteenand the teacher reported it to the vice principle becuase I had no license to drive at thirteen years old.

My vice principle noticed after the failing grades I recieved in my music and photography class that I was in danger of being set back a year and told me he wanted me to go home and lay down in my bed and tell my parents I could no longer work because I never had a work permit and by law minors can't work without a permit that is signed by the vice principle and the employer. He told me to tell my parents to come in with me in the morning or I was going to be expelled from school permanantly. So I did what I was told. When I tried to tell my father after he got home and found me laying in bed the first thing he did was grab a few weapons and asked why I wasn't at work. I told him the vice principle wanted to see him and my mother in the morning and I couldn't work without a permit any longer. My dad then began hitting me with the razor strap and tried to push me out the front door physically while hitting me with his fist and broke the glass on the front door of the house on my arm that caused me to need over a hundred stiches. A sheriff witnessed the entire thing while standing just outside and arrested my father. My dad told the sheriff that I was encouragable and he believed I was selling and using drugs because I had money to purchase things like guitars and cameras and a car and said I refused to do what I was told. I then told the officer my side of the story and the officer took the handcuffs off my dad and put them on me and took me to the hospital on the way to juvenile hall to be treated for the cut on my arm and I was tested for illegal drugs and questioned for several hours by various doctors who concluded they found evidence of broken bones, severe physical and mental abuse for years and that I had not used any illagal drugs for at least two years so they doubted I ever used illegal drugs nor did I know anythng about illegal drugs. The sheriff then took me home and arrested my father for lying to him and the abuse to me. When my dad came home he showed me the citation that was given to both my parents who were then ordered to have family counseling with me and my dad gave me a note to copy by hand and give to the high school vice principle stating I was dropping out of high school and was going to go to adult education at night. Both my parents were given court orders for family counseling with me and they walked out of the second session while calling the physicains overeducated hippies and took me home and never returned to court or family counseling. I told my parents I wanted to go back to high school.

The day my father was arrested my vice principle told me he wanted to arrest my parents while they were on campus the next morning and put them both in jail and put my younger sister and I into foster homes. The vice principle made the complaint to the sheriff's department and all the proper officials but nothing was ever done. when I told my parents I wanted to go back to high school I was forced to leave the home at sixteen and slept in a field for two weeks in freezing weather with no help at all until two weeks later a friend asked me to be his roomate and his father offered me my old job back working at the steel yard. I never returned home and purchased a motorcyle to go back and forth to work every day until I made the mistake of leaving my motorcycle in front of my parents home one day while I went to work and came home and found they also sold my motorcyle that I traded to my roomate for two months rent because I was enlisting into the US Air Force.

I only recently discovered at age fifty that my parents embezzelled well over a hundred fifty thousand dollars besides a small fortune that was left me in a will by a woman who we attended church with on Sundays and had no other family. My parents without telling me sold the home and took the money for themselves without telling me when I was fifteen.

I called the Santa Clara county Sheriff's Department and DA's office and child protective services and and was told that they have a unwritten policy not to investigate or get involved in cases of children working without permits for over fifty years that continues to this day. One high ranking sheriff told me that she believed the children who are forced to work at a young age build charactor and I asked her what she meant considering I'm now also severely disabled for the rest of my life and my physicans also found I suffered from a severely fractured neck while I was about thirteen which I remember clearly but went completely untreated and I was still forced to work.

TO this day the sheriff's department, DA or CPS have a policy not to get involved in any way with cases of children working without permits even though the laws are clearly there. So I have to ask, just how many children over the years ended up disabled and on social security becuase the officials refused to investigate this horrible thing. This is not just a simple case of ignorance but a major complete attrocity caused by the few in power over the years who had their own belief system and refuse to enforce the laws that are clearly there. As a matter of fact I was basically told by the DA's office in a email that they basically care less and not to write or bother them about this matter again.

I do symathize with you and know how you feel and I am sorry this happened to you but unfortunately there are other generations that have experienced the same problem and suffer every day like I do and cant work. I even went back to college over the last six years but unfortuanly I just can't find enough work I can do at home. I am also on various official progams with Social Security so I can attempt to try and start a business in advanced web design and things I can do on my computer but there just isn't enough work for me here so I am considering moving.

When I recently told my mother that I may sell my property she sent me a list of items she expects me to pay her back for incuding paying her back for raising me. She also lied to my family and caused my marriage to fail and has done all she can to alienate me from my family by making up terrible lies and saying things like telling my nephew and nieces for years that I lived under a bridge and was a junky, robbed houses and only now after almost thirty years of age my nephew finally realized after visiting for the first time since my brother died that he was lied to about me. Unfortunaltey my mother and sister may have embezelled over a hundred thousand dollars from my nieces and nephews from their father's life insurance policy and moved back east and bought a home with the money.

Don't feel too bad OK, you are not alone and the real culprits here is not just parents who disobeyed the laws but the officials in power for all these years who failed to enforce the laws for their own beliefs and profit.


My vice principle at high school
Filemaker, this apparently occurred when you were a minor and that was over 32 years ago. The SOL has LOOOONG since expired. And, back then, the laws were a lot more lax on a number of issues.

As a note, the DA and local law enforcement do not generally get involved in labor law issues as that is not an area of law they primarily deal with. The Department of Standards Enforcement is the agency that tends to investigate these violations through the Bureau of Field Enforcement. If investigators from these agencies request a criminal complaint through the local DA's office, then the DA will have to consider the prosecution. Most often, the result is that the state comes down on the employers. Today, if parents are forcing children to work, there can be criminal charges against the parents as well - and against any employers that might be endangering the health of a child.

But, the laws of 32+ years ago were vastly different. I also am of the same generation, though I did not start work until age 15 and that was "under the table" for a year or so.
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