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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5

    Default Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Any help would be appreciated. I live in Georgia and a business I was doing some marketing & web design work for went and filed a warrant application for Theft by Conversion.

    It began when the client and I outlined an agreement (contract) for me to do some work...basically, it stated I would handle some of his marketing and web site design, etc... in exchange for $1,500 upfront and that I would come into the office 3 days per week (Tue, Wed, and Thur) and that he'd pay $18 per hour for the time I was there.

    Anyhow, we signed the agreement on a Friday and he wrote out a check for $1,500.00 and enroute to the bank, I called my wife and told her to pay some bills since I had the extra cash (the $1,500). Anyhow, I got to the bank and they said the check was no good, not enough funds.

    So I called him and he told me to meet at the office in an hour and he'd transfer the funds (the bank was only 5 minutes away from the office).

    I got back, he looked in the acct and realized he didn't have any money (the bank told me that when I was there). So, he wrote out another check and transferred some funds into the acct. As I walked out the door, I noticed the amount changed from $1,500 to $1,000.00, when I asked about it, he yelled out "make me some money over the weekend and you'll get the rest".

    I explained to him that i just had my wife pay some things based on the fact I was driving to the bank with the $1,500 in hand and that it would cause problems (financially)...he didn't budge from his statement.

    ANyhow, I did some of the work that we outlined in the contract at home over the weekend. On SUnday I emailed him and told him that I wouldn't be in on Tuesday because because I planned to do some extra work so I can get the extra money to pay those bills due to the lack of the $500.00.

    Anyhow, he called my house and my wife answered and he was yelling trying to figure out where I was and why I wasn't at the office on that Tuesday. She told him that I didn't come in because I was working to make extra money to cover the $500 he shorted me.

    After that, I got like 10-15 messages of him yelling and screaming saying that he was going to get me and sue me for taking his money and that I deceived him with the intent of not working.

    When I finally called him back, we got into a shouting match of course and I told him I wasn't doing anything else at that point until I get the rest of my money. He asked that I send him all the files I had worked on prior and I told him I would when I get my money.

    This went on for about a day (the yelling and back and forth) and he told me he was going to sue me.
    I told him he was the one who breached the contract and to bring it on. Then he calls back saying he was going to get an arrest warrant for the "Theft by Conversion".

    Anyhow, I got the notice in the mail today (Saturday) and need to know does this guy have a leg to stand on? He has an attorney who works for his office and apparently he filed it because his name is written as the "Complainant" representing the company.

    I'm listed as the accused by my first and last name.

    Should I be worried about this? Should I go there with an attorney? Obviously I don't have tthe means to pay an attorney thousands or even hundreds of dollars to represent me.

    What would you advise? I did some of the work over the weekend, which I could say was valued at the $1,000.00. On my web site on the Terms of Use section, I state that we don't offer refunds once work has began. The $1,500 was mainly to rush and get some of the work done and the 3 days per week I was going to work at the office was for a period of 90 days, at which time I'd be training someone, thus the $18 per hour.

    thanks.
    Carl

  2. #2
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    Jul 2006
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    5,438

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Is this a civil action they filed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    How can I tell..

    The paperwork I got in the mail said:

    "ORDER FOR WARRANT APPLICATION HEARING"

    The Complainant listed above has requested that this Court issue an arrest warrant for the accussed listed above for the charge shown

    Charge: Theft By Conversion

    It is the order of this Court that the parties listed above appear before this Court at the date, time, and location shown below, together with all witnesses and evidence they deem appropriate, to show cause why the prayers of the complainant should, or should not, be granted.

    This will be held at the Magistrate Court in my county.

    I too thought this would be a civil issue and that he'd had to pursue me in Court since it was a dispute of a contract, but he's trying to get me arrested, with the advise from his attorney???? His attorney filed this.

    Do i need a lawyer or would a Judge after looking at this throw it out and tell him to sue me?

    Carl

  4. #4
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    I would get a lawyer and do not ignore this.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2006
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    5

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    What concern do you see here? You got me really nervous now?

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Quote Quoting cartess3
    View Post
    What concern do you see here? You got me really nervous now?
    The concern I see is in your first and second posts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,120

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Seniorjudge has the experience here, I tend to look at things a bit differently though.

    While there is obviously reason for concern, if your rendition of the events is complete, I see little reason for a criminal charge. The plaintiff will obviously have a different version for the court. These differences may mean the difference between a viable charge versus no criminal charges.

    An attorney is always (almost always anyway) advisable.
    Whether you have one or not, you MUST attend the hearing. If you do not have an attorney, you will be the only one to provide evidence to show cause against the warrant.

    A written contract?? Without one, you are probalby going to hear alot of things you haven't before. If there is one, it may be your best defense.

    The fact that only $1000 of the required $1500 was actually paid may make the contract to be not in effect. The contract should contain the direction in this. Although your actions tend to show you believed it to be in effect, you can claim your work was in anticipation of the contract being accepted (which would be evidenced by the payment of $1500, not the $1000 you recieved as a down payment or partial payment). With that, you can defend your position of not turning over any work already performed.

    Bring the e-mail regarding your Teusday no show situation, the contract, if applicable, anything you can get from the bank regarding the bad check situation, if there is anything. Your explanation tends to infer there is no paper trail regarding the check.


    Just as a side note: do not float checks. This is what you were doing when you told your wife to write checks. I'm sure you know the old addage: don't count your chickens before they hatch". Don't spend money until it is in your account. Just depositing a check does not mean the money is there. You didn't even get to that point.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,438

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Seniorjudge has the experience here, I tend to look at things a bit differently though.

    While there is obviously reason for concern, if your rendition of the events is complete, I see little reason for a criminal charge. The plaintiff will obviously have a different version for the court. These differences may mean the difference between a viable charge versus no criminal charges.

    An attorney is always (almost always anyway) advisable.
    Whether you have one or not, you MUST attend the hearing. If you do not have an attorney, you will be the only one to provide evidence to show cause against the warrant.

    A written contract?? Without one, you are probalby going to hear alot of things you haven't before. If there is one, it may be your best defense.

    The fact that only $1000 of the required $1500 was actually paid may make the contract to be not in effect. The contract should contain the direction in this. Although your actions tend to show you believed it to be in effect, you can claim your work was in anticipation of the contract being accepted (which would be evidenced by the payment of $1500, not the $1000 you recieved as a down payment or partial payment). With that, you can defend your position of not turning over any work already performed.

    Bring the e-mail regarding your Teusday no show situation, the contract, if applicable, anything you can get from the bank regarding the bad check situation, if there is anything. Your explanation tends to infer there is no paper trail regarding the check.


    Just as a side note: do not float checks. This is what you were doing when you told your wife to write checks. I'm sure you know the old addage: don't count your chickens before they hatch". Don't spend money until it is in your account. Just depositing a check does not mean the money is there. You didn't even get to that point.



    You haven't said anything I disagree with.

    I am very conservative when it comes to this stuff: The best advice is always get a lawyer and show up for court!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,637

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    Be sure to keep your bank records showing the initial deposit, and that the check bounced.

    He's going to claim, I assume, that your written contract made the payment a deposit toward work to be performed, not a lump sum payment just for agreeing to do the work. He'll likely argue that he gave you the deposit, and the very first day you were supposed to come in to work you were a no-show, evidencing that you never had any intention of actually performing the work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Theft by Conversion in Georgia

    i really appreciate the advise thus far. Unfortunately, I don't have a returned check because immediately after he wrote the check I went straight to his bank to cash it.

    I do have witnesses that were at the office when I returned back to collect a new check. They knew I came back because this guy has a history of writing checks with no money in it, but never had a problem getting the money back because he always claimed he didn't know money was not in the acct.

    Also, I didn't mention that I've been working off and on for this guy for the last 3 years. This wasn't a first time transaction between us, with the look that I took his money and ran. We've been working together off and on for 3 years. 75% of the work I did for him was always from home, so it wasn't unusual for me not to come into the office because everything was done online/internet.

    The contract I do have states that the $1,500 would be paid upfront. Again, when he called my wife yelling and screaming at her, he crossed the line and at that point I decided I wouldn't work with him and if he wanted the information/work, he needed to pay the remaining balance.

    Is it possible to subpoena the employees who saw me come to the office to have him rewrite the check? THey knew I was there to get a new check because I told them I was....they knew why I came back because it happened to them on ocassion too. I actually trained the 2 employees, so we have a friendship outside that office. What can I do to have them come in to be witness of the fact that I indeed came back to get a new check because the one he wrote bounced?

    Carl

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