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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default I Sold Property That Was Stolen Now I'm Being Sued

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Missouri

    I recently sold a vending machine that was given to me by the owner of the company that I work for. The machine was aquired with a building that was purchased for our new location. The machine was in the building when the building was vacant and upon purchase of the building, we assumed that it now belonged to the owner. I kept the machine and used it personally for over 6 years. I then decided that I no longer needed the machine, and needed some cash.

    I listed it online and sold it locally to a guy who was going to put it at his place of business. Well, a month or so after I sold it to him, he called and told me that the machine belonged to (the company of the product who's name was on it) and they wanted it back. They claim it was stolen. So, he wanted his money back and I said no. Now he is sueing me for the price of the machine. Can he do that? I don't feel that I've done anything wrong. And my employer does not want to get involved. I really don't want them involved as it may lead to my termination.
    Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: I Sold Property That Was Stolen Now I'm Being Sued

    First, you have to determine if the machine was actually owned by these folks. Let's take for granted that they did.

    Then, you have to figure out if they had rights to claim the machine or it was considered abandoned and up for grabs. Let's assume they had rights to claim their machine.

    If the above are true, you owe the guy you sold it to the money he paid you.

    There is a possibility it might be able to be claimed as abandoned (not a great possibility) but to even consider that, the person that gave it to you is going to have to get involved since if the property were abandoned, he would have been the owner of the machine and then he gave it to you. I have not looked up any of the laws that control this because you said you do not want to involve your employer.

    Since you do not want to get that person involved, you need to return the money and be done with it.

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