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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    I found a money order alomost 2 months ago for $400.00 with the reciept stub still attached. Everyone told me that money order is basically cash and since the stub was still attached then I could not get in trouble, because it's like find cash. So I cashed it and now today police came to question me, but I was not home and my fiance called me, so I called them and they told me they needed to ask me a few questions. So I went down there at first denied it then just told them I found it and cashed it. The officers told me that if I bring back the amount of money which was the $400, then they would put it into evidence and when the case is forwarded to the state legislature or whatever then they would see that I gave the money and maybe the person who is pressing charges for the stolen money order will drop the charges. I asked for a copy of the case or report and the officer told me they will not have it available for 2-3 days. They also told me that there is still the chance that the person pressing charges will not drop them and if they don't then there ill be a warrant put out for me.

    I am so scared. I have never been in trouble or arressted before and I am freaking out. I went and gave them the money and I still could be arressted. I wanted to get the persons number and tell them I am so sorry and that I gave the police the money back, but I do not have the number or anything.

    Does anyone know what might happen to me? What I could be charged with? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,380

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    You didn't do yourself any favors by lying.

    Should we assume that the recipient's name was left blank?

    I don't know if they can connect you with the money order; if in fact a blank money order was found as you describe, I wouldn't be surprised if the case isn't pursued, but if the investigation reveals how you might have had the opportunity to steal it as opposed to merely finding it, "all bets are off."

    Accepting your story at face value, it seems possible that the sender or recipient declared the money order lost and tried to obtain a replacement, only to discover that it had been cashed. Then when the issuing financial institution traced the money order it was associated with you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    It was blank. I told them I found it, which I did. The officers however said the person reported it stolen after finding it had been cashed and that I can still be charged, in which they will issue a warrant even though I gave them the $400.00 (the amount of the money order). They said that even though I found it, that it is still stolen because I should have turned it in. I don't know what to do. What can I be charged with ? I have never been in trouble before with the law.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    Charging you with possession of a stolen property, when all it was was found property is wild?

    Depending on FL lost property laws, keeping lost property may be criminal in nature, theft, some states do so.

    Wait to see what you are charged with, then go from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,380

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    If you found a regular check, completed in every way except for the fact that the space for the payee had not been filled in, would you believe that you had the right to fill in your name and deposit the check? From a legal standpoint, this is pretty much the same thing. The reticence of the police in charging you, I would expect, results from your intent being less clear due to the popular misunderstanding of money orders as being simply another financial instrument like a check.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    10,086

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    In fact, except for US Postal money orders, they are checks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    No, as I stated above the money order was completly BLANK with the stub attached. I also called the gas station and they told me that it is same as cash and finders keepers, but that was bad advice. A check is totally different from a money order. A check could be bad, but I assumed because a money order is same as cash then I could not get in trouble for cashing it. But that was a mistake, a horrible one. I went right back to the police station and gave them the money, but if the person decides to still press charges then I'm screwed. I mean I thought it was same as finding cash on the ground, I have never been in trouble in my life, I'm pretty scared that I will be charged. I did not steal it thought, I found it. Lesson learned!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,787

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    Here's the problem.

    The gas station is wrong. A money order is NOT the same as cash and it is NOT finders keepers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    Yup, I know this now. Just worried about my record and that I will not be able to get a job after school if I am charged.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,109

    Default Re: Money Order That I Found and Cashed Reported Stolen

    Right now, all worrying is going to do is give you grey hair and an ulcer. There really is nothing for you to do but wait and see.

    Although you COULD be charged, I think it's unlikely that you will be. And if you ARE, it's doubtful that it would go anywhere, given that you've already made restitution. If you're charged, get an attorney. Unless and until then, try not to fret so much.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
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