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zenkane

Fraud by friend

7 posts in this topic

A naive relative of mine was conned by a supposed "friend" into using one of those blank checks from a credit card company. The "friend" said he needed 50K for a real estate investment and would pay him back. There's a letter between the two explaining all this. Needless to say my relative wrote him the check and didn't get one cent back. At the time my relative was embarrassed and told no one. This happened 4 years ago and since then his credit has gone to pot. I just got wind of it and have encouraged him to sue to get his money back, damages for his destroyed credit, and legal expenses paid.

Does my relative have a leg to stand on? Will a lawyer even take a case like this? What will my relative need document-wise to pursue this?

My relative lives in California and the person who "stole" the money resides in Florida.

Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated.

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Your relative should be talking to a business law attorney who practices in the same Florida city where the thief lives, to get advice about how to proceed. He will also want to ask the attorney if a statute of limitations applies in the case or not.

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Your post takes the position that this is a fraud/theft matter, but the facts don't seem to bear that out. Seems like a simple case of failure to repay a loan (i.e., a breach of contract).

If we assume that the borrower lived in Florida at the time the loan was made, then it is likely that any lawsuit would need to be filed in Florida and that Florida law would govern the claims and defenses.

The big question here is whether the statute of limitations has run. That will depend on the specific terms of the loan regarding repayment, and your post is silent in that regard. You said that the borrower never paid anything. The question is when the first payment was due. Was it due a month after the loan was made? Was the loan agreement silent regarding repayment (in which case the court would imply a term that repayment was to be made within a "reasonable" period of time)? It looks like the Florida statute of limitations is either four or five years (depending on whether there is sufficient written documentation to make this a case for breach of written contract as opposed to oral contract). That means your relative may still have time, so he or she should contact an attorney in the FL county where the borrower lives ASAP.

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Update for those interested... My relative has hired a lawyer and they filed paperwork to sue for failure to pay back the loan/breach of contract. It was sent in 1 month before the statue of limitations. They are awaiting a response from the other side.

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