Can I get in trouble for unknowingly cashing a fraudulent check that I received in the mail for a job?

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Can I get in trouble for unknowingly cashing a fraudulent check that I received in the mail for a job?

I was sent a link and I responded to it and was offered an advertising job. They sent me a $3600 check for work I would be doing in the future months. I cashed said check and 2 days later the places I cashed it at said it was a

fraudulent check. So can I go to jail for this or is it my responsibility to pay it back?

Asked on September 30, 2019 under Business Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) It's not a criminal act, because you did not have a criminal "mens rea" or intent: that is, you did not intend to commit a crime.
2) However, you do have to repay the money. That is because anyone, regardless of their intent, who received money to which they are not entitled must repay it. In this case, you received $3,600 when you cashed the check, but are not entitled to it, because the check was not valid; therefore, you must repay.


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