Independent Contractor used Lowes Credit card to purchase unauthorized tools and advance credit cards totaling 2,250.00

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Independent Contractor used Lowes Credit card to purchase unauthorized tools and advance credit cards totaling 2,250.00

I have proof of purchases itemized on statement from Lowes. I confronted
contractor he admitted unauthorized usage and agreed to sign a promoissory note
in exchange for working off debt. The next day contractor quit work with excuse
of can’t work without pay So I filed lawsuit for breech of contract promissory
note violation.

Am I on right track or is there more legal action I can pursue to collect or file
criminal charges ?

Please advise.

Asked on September 7, 2016 under Business Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In terms of recovering money, you are on the right track: a lawsuit is the legal mechanism for recovering money someone owes you, including due to them making unauthorized charges. 
You could file charges against him, too: using your credit card without permission for his own benefit is theft. There is an upside and a downside to doing so, so you need to use your judgment about this person and how he will react.
Upside: it may motivate him to pay, since if he does repay you, that will often motivate the prosecutor to allow him to plead to a lesser charge or recommend a lesser punishment (and the prosecutor will likely discuss the issue of restitution with him). So the charges may exert leverage on him to repay.
Downside: if fighting the charges (e.g. getting a lawyer) takes money he would otherwise, in theory, have to pay you, or if he is jailed and therefore loses earning time, it could reduce his ability to repay.


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