My question involves criminal law for the state of: Illinois
I'll try to make this as concise as possible.
Recently my former employer accused me of stealing funds from the store. I believe he is making the claim in an effort to not pay me what is due. I discussed it with the officer and this is a basic summary of what he said he was going to put in the report:
The officer will state that I went to my place of work seeking payment for services provided. I had made attempts to contact my employer prior to my arrival. I went into the storage room to where the safe was, as that is where he keeps our checks. I found an envelope there which contained the amount of money owed to me in the sum of 140 dollars. I took the money and went back to the store. The girl on shift asked me if I had "stolen" anything from the back, and I said no. I found out about 30 or so minutes later that money was not meant for me, and upon finding out returned it promptly. I did not flee the scene.
At first this officer seemed like he was trying to railroad me. He tried every way he could to make me admit I was stealing cash on the side. You know, the old "when I was your age I did it too" bit. I wasn't going for it. I said I'd pay whatever "restitution" my former employer was seeking if it would end the matter, but I was adamant that I would not confess to a crime I didn't commit. He wouldn't let me pay any restitution without a confession. I ended up walking out of the police station.
Do you think if they had anything to charge me with they'd have arrested me? I mean once the police are involved doesn't it become a civil matter? Don't they have the right to prosecute at that point without the victim's consent? He said there was evidence to support it, but I knew damn well he was lying. I never stole a thing.
The officer went back and talked again with my former employer. When he returned, he told me it sounds more like a misunderstanding than a theft. My former employer said he did not want to press charges at this time. This is where we run into the problem. He accused me of taking an extra 40 dollars from storage. I didn't take it. He is also now saying that I have been stealing cash from the register, also a false accusation. He says he can prove it, but there are two reasons how I don't understand that to be possible.
1. I didn't take it.
2. This business is run illegally if I am not mistaken. The money I was receiving was completely non taxed. I also never signed any kind of documentation indicating that I was working as an independent contractor. Basically, when it came time to file taxes, I'd have no need to. That also means he does not pay any taxes on his employees, most importantly I'd assume social security and unemployment.
How can one document the things he claims when one does not even have me listed as a worker, at least in the legal sense. I think he may already have or is planning on submitting falsified documents to the police, although I don't think he will take it that far because in doing so he is risking a high price to spite me. Isn't it going to look funny to a judge if they saw that? He claimed I was stealing 20 here, 30 there, even sometimes up to 60. Won't they wonder why he's kept me on this long if he felt I was stealing from him? This all is making little sense to me.
We also change shifts once a day. I was morning shift, so I had nothing to do with closing procedures a good majority of the time, 9 times out of 10. We don't count the drawer in between shifts. What I'm saying is that maybe the drawer did come up short some times, but if it did, is there not reasonable doubt that it was someone else? Such as the person who took over after my shift? He also has cameras there, but who knows how far the history goes back. Not too far I'd imagine, at least not far back enough to clear my name.
Another thing is, although he claims I owe him this money, he has agreed to pay me the money that he owes me on Saturday. I find that a little strange.
They said they will have detectives investigate, but I can't imagine what they'd investigate considering the circumstances. I know if he pushes this too far, he's going to be in all sorts of trouble with the IRS.
All I want to know is what to expect from this. I do not want to spend any time in jail over a crime I didn't even commit in the first place. What is the next step for me? I don't want to sit here and bide my time wondering. The officer even agreed to drop off my check for me on Saturday so that me and my former employer would be able to avoid any possible confrontations.
To add, if he does not pursue the claim, do I have any rights to sue for defamation or emotional distress? This is completely unwarranted behavior to me. The guy is calling me a thief when I'm not, and he can't substantiate a case without falsifying documents and lying to the authorities.
Thanks in advance,