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My mother gave me stolen money to start a business. Money is spent. Am I responsible for paying it back?

Houston, TX |

My mother took several 100k from my great aunt when she had power of atty. She gave me 100k to start a business but did not tell me she took the money illegally. Most of the money is spent and now other family members have retained an atty and are filing suit against me for the 100k. Am I responsible for this money or is there some defense I have? What are the potential penalties for such an offence. Again, I had no knowledge that this money was taken illegally. My mother said that she was able to gift herself this money. Any advice out there?

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Attorney answers 4


I would need more information before I could provide you with a proper response. However, I strongly suggest that you meet with a local attorney. You may have defenses to the lawsuit but you will need an attorney to help you properly respond to the complaint when it is filed and served. This sounds like a civil suit, not a criminal suit. You mother could have a serious problem if your family decides to pursue criminal action.

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Could I potentially be held criminally liable?


You need a lawyer. An internet forum is not the appropriate place to discuss the merits of a case like this.


You are in a precarious situation. Making statements, in writing, on a public website like this, can be inadvisable. If your posts here are conclusively linked to you, they can become evidence in the lawsuit you describe. If you have been sued, you should immediately hire an experienced attorney to evaluate your defenses and represent you in the pending lawsuit. My firm would be happy to assist you with this matter. Feel free to contact me at

Good luck.

Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.


Additional information is necessary to answer this question, but I do not believe that you should present such information in this forum. You should call an attorney immediately and set up a consultation. Bring whatever documents you have regarding your Great Aunt's estate and the cause of action against you, including the power of attorney, if you do have it. Additionally, if the matter has ever been probated, provide the case number to the attorney so that he can look over the case and review the documents.

The information provided above, by Mr. Defreitas, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Defreitas does not offer, nor imply that he intends to offer, legal advice or counseling to any individual or organization by providing this information. The information provided above, by Mr. Defreitas, is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied. Mr. Defreitas makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website. You should not rely or act upon any information contained herein for any purpose without seeking legal advice from a duly licensed attorney competent to practice law in your jurisdiction.

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