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Is borrowing money from my mom's bank account fraud? Our accounts are frozen & being investigated.

Oregon City, OR |

My joint checking $4k, savings $4k & my moms checking $16k that I'm POA on was frozen 3-14. I'm her POA since 7-08. I wasn't told why but the balance would be returned in 10 business days. I called 4-9 & was told the accts are being investigated. It can be 30-45days before they decide "IF" they will return our money. This is what I think I did wrong? I took a personal loan from my mom's acct & will repay it. I transferred $ from her investment fund to her checking in Feb. I wrote myself 2-$4k checks in Feb & 6-$4k checks in March. The 6th check froze the accts.I wrote the checks for $4k because I was told they would put a 3 week hold on larger amounts.
1. Did I break the law by writing to many checks? Or was it the amount on the checks?
2. Can the bank keep our money?
3.Do I need a lawyer?

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Filed under: Fraud Power of attorney
Attorney answers 3

Posted

Put her money back. Get atty. you need counsel.

Posted

It is not clear what you have done, other than to access a joint account. If you were acting as a joint account holder, then the money is legally as much yours as it is your mother's. That is one reason why I do not recommend joint accounts.

If you were acting under the Power of Attorney form, then this is almost certainly improper, unless the POA form specifically authorizes you to take loans, which would be unusual. Under the POA form, you are required to act in your *mother's* best interest alone. It is hard to see how these loan(s) would be in her best interest.

You are most likely going to need to hire a lawyer. In answer to your specific questions:

1) It is not the fact of the number of checks or the amount, but the fact that they were not in your mother's interest and someone suspected that you were financially abusing your authority.
2) The money is your mother's. The bank cannot keep your mother's money. It can refuse to allow you to access it, however, without court authority, if it determines that there has been an abuse.
3) I think that you very well might need a lawyer. I would not want to do anything further without one, in your case.

James Frederick

I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.

Posted

If you think that someone suspects you of any kind of wrongdoing, I would definitely discuss the situation with an attorney. Also, I would not talk about it on the internet. Your discussions with your attorney are privileged and confidential. Your discussions here, not so much.

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