San Antonio, TX asked in Banking, Business Law and White Collar Crime for California

Q: When a thief uses a third party financial company, are they liable?

When a thief uses a third party financial company that transfers funds to steal what you paid for, and you file a complaint with third party and they side with the thief (meaning...they didn't refund your transfer) are they liable for money laundering? And when someone at the financial company says, "Yes, your right, our policies don't supersede California's laws on theft." -‐----Did she just give Consent to be sued?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, the situation where a financial company facilitates a transaction that turns out to be fraudulent can be complex. If a third-party financial company transfers funds and it results in theft, their liability depends on several factors, including their policies, the nature of the transaction, and their awareness of the fraudulent activity.

Regarding money laundering, it is a specific legal charge that requires proof of intent to conceal the origins of illegally obtained money. If a financial company unknowingly facilitates a transaction that involves stolen funds, they may not necessarily be liable for money laundering unless it can be shown that they had knowledge of the criminal nature of the transaction.

If a representative of the financial company acknowledges that their policies do not override California's laws on theft, it doesn't automatically imply consent to be sued. However, it may indicate an acknowledgment of the company's responsibility to comply with state laws. This could be a significant point in any legal proceedings.

In such cases, it's advisable to gather all pertinent documentation and consult with a legal professional. An attorney can assess the specifics of your situation and guide you on the best course of action, which may include pursuing legal remedies against the company if they are found to be in violation of their legal obligations. Remember, each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits.

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