What if my partner steals from the company?

| Sep 29, 2020 | Business Disputes |

A company may have to deal with theft someday. Sometimes it may even be a partner intentionally committing the wrongdoing. While some matters can lead to criminal action, more often than not, they end up in civil court. The goal for the victim is to recover stolen assets or seek damages.

Common examples of theft

It may be a simple matter of the partner taking cash from a safe, but often it is more complicated than that:

  • Fraud: This involves a wide variety of wrongdoings, but generally, the fraudster redirects the company or customer’s money for their personal use. They must be caught in an intentional lie that harmed the victim in some way. Depending on the nature of the transgression, a government prosecutor could make this a criminal case.
  • Embezzlement: This classic white-collar crime involves redirecting funds from company accounts to personal ones with no intention of returning the money. The action was unauthorized and covert.
  • Violating their fiduciary duty: This is a breach of professional obligation to work in the company’s best interest. Instead, they serve their own best interests by helping others outside the company. Examples include sharing company secrets, proprietary information or trademarked intellectual property.

Gathering evidence is key

The victim must have proof of wrongdoing and that it was done intentionally rather than by accident. Common examples of valuable evidence include receipts of fraudulent transactions, a company credit card bill with personal expenses, or emails with sensitive information sent to others. These details can help confirm suspicions or the exact nature of the theft.

The wronged partner should create a record that documents the theft, how somebody discovered it and the incriminating evidence. It is also a good idea to contact an attorney with experience litigating these types of matters. They can help maximize the amount of damages recovered and limit the now-former partner’s ability to do additional damage in the future.