I was accused of under charging employees for food at my job and was terminated. They said I owe $780. I was definitely under duress and felt like I was being interrogated and forced to say a lot of things I didn't mean because of the way I was being talked to. I just wanted to get out of that room. I signed the papers but I feel like I was treated unfairly. I have seen websites that say "If the previous employee pays then great if not then oh well, what can we do?" I have also seen "don't expect to get the full amount back." After seeing this I fell like paying is not really necessary, especially after I felt like I was forced to sign it. The LPI guy said if I do, it would be cooperating and they won't press charges so I felt obligated.
Only an attorney who knows all of the facts and circumstances can help. Go see one immediately.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,
As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that it is very possible they will use that statement against you and pursue charges. You were not in custody for purposes of any governmental entity, and therefore had no Miranda rights to be violated. Therefore, the statement is evidence against you for criminal purposes, and the charges can range from Larceny by Employee to Embezzlement. Both of those charges are felonies. I can think of a few others, but I would need more information as to whether you qualify (i.e. Obtaining Property by False Pretense, for example). I would pay the $780. In court fees alone, you will owe more if you are convicted, and a felony charge will make it incredibly difficult to find a job. Then there are attorney fees and a good attorney will charge you potential of a $1000 or more to defend you. If you are convicted, you will be responsible for paying for your public defender (which Guilford County has) or a court-appointed attorney, if you went that route instead. Don't trust the Internet for this.