What to do if a caseworker stole money from a client?

UPDATED: Aug 16, 2010

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What to do if a caseworker stole money from a client?

My boyfriend has been in a Transitional Living program for about 4 months now. Part of the program is that they give you somewhere to live and in exchange you have to pay for half of the rent and put money into the program. You also have to have a steady job. He had a job and he was getting paid on a debit card. His case worker from the program didn’t want him spending money, so she took his debit card and wouldn’t give it back to him when he needed to buy necessities like toilet paper, deodorant, etc. He would ask for his debit card all the time and she always said no. So he called to see how much he had on his card and he had $1350 on it. A few days went by and he called the company again to get a new card sent to him so then he would have his money. By the time he got his card he only had $60 on it. So when his case worker found out he got his card without her permission, she told him he’s getting kicked out of the program and won’t let him talk to the supervisor. So is it legal that when he got his card his money is gone? She either stole it or it just magically disappeared.

Asked on August 16, 2010 under Criminal Law, Iowa


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No, it does not at all sound as if it is legal or moral or ethical.  And he has the right to report the matter to whomever is in charge and to the proper authorities.  She can not stop him from doing so.  This program was part of his sentence for something, correct?  I ask because it is listed in the criminal defense portion of the the site.  Did he have an attorney in the proceeding that got him in to this program?  I would suggest that he contact him or her and tell them what is going on.  He needs to ask fro help.  Court programs are put in place to help people to rehabilitate themselves with the help of the state.  If the case worker is undermining the program by stealing herself from the participants it needs to be addressed on many levels and she needs to be prosecuted for her actions.  Good luck.

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