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Can I be accused of Qualified Theft by my boss who freely gave me something?

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vaworker


Arresto Menor
Good day,

I would like to seek your legal expertise based on the facts below.

1. I am an independent contractor who works in the Philippines yet had a client in the US.

2. We had no legal contract between the both of us. I tried to get him to make one so that everything will be legal, but he refused.

3. After a month of work, my boss decided to purchase a piece of equipment for me. It was an item that he thought I needed in order to work. I initially informed him to think twice about sending the money for said item because I was not comfortable handling that amount ($1000) but he insisted. I also told him proactively, prior to him sending the funds, that I was willing to make a payment plan for said item, but he refused several times. His words were "You do not owe me anything". I have our complete conversations recorded in chat transcripts and emails.

4. One day on my way to the province I informed boss that I would have limited access to work because I was travelling. I continued working through emails and chats, I was merely unable to take a phone call from him because it would require me to bring out my laptop in a public bus and I was not comfortable doing that.

5. He got mad at me for missing work on that day. Sent me messages saying I have stolen his property. I tried to talk to him but he said he refused to speak to me until I paid back the amount of the property he sent to me.

6. I tried to continue to work on the next few days, in case he changed his mind (he is prone to having temper tantrums). I even sent him progress reports of what I was working on. After 2 days of the incident, he locked me out of all my work accounts and again sent me threatening messages saying he will report me to the authorities here in the Philippines.

At this point I was very confused because he repeatedly told me not to contact him and then a few days later he was sending emails to everyone I know accusing me of stealing the money which I initially thought he sent freely because of his prior reassurances. In my last emails to him I specifically told him I would be willing to repay the amount on a monthly basis as soon as I have money. Unfortunately, he only wants me to work for him again as payment and I refuse to do so as I have witnesses first hand how he abuses his employees, myself included.

My question is this:

If he is in the US and I am in the Philippines, what actions can he take against me? He mentioned in his email that he will call for "Qualified Theft" as the property in question is more than P22,000 in value ($1000).

What can I do in the meantime? Am I liable for QT regardless if I have evidence he said I did not owe him anything? Can he still press charges from the US and accuse me of such even if I already proposed paying it off bit by bit?

I have never been charged of a crime before. What will happen to me? Will I be subpoenaed first? Or will the police come for me? I just don't want to embarrass my family.

At this point I just feel like he is bullying me for what little dignity I have. I tried to settle this amicably but his continuous emails have been nothing more than harassment that I have stopped communicating for 2 weeks now.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank you.

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attyLLL


moderator
It's not easy, but there are ways to file a complaint if he has a representative here who will go to the DOJ.

Your conversations will be important to show what is the true nature of the transaction that you had.


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vaworker


Arresto Menor
But is my problem considered Qualified Theft? I did not take anything without his knowledge. He freely gave me the money. I offered to pay it back bit by bit but he is not compromising on that point unless I work for him again. Is it Qualified Theft or can it be considered an unpaid loan instead?

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attyLLL


moderator
the failure to return an item which was given in confidence can be considered estafa by abuse of confidence. if the company is right, i believe this is the more appropriate charge


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Warning and Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer; and you are not my client. With the limitations of an  Internet forum, a thorough review of your concern is not possible. View my comments at YOUR OWN RISK. It is best to actually retain a lawyer for your individual concerns.
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Lunkan


Reclusion Perpetua
Have you offered to SEND it back (if he pay the transport) ?

If you do that too, and can prove it, then I see no crime. (But you can never know if the court is bribed/stupid Smile

I guess the owner don't bother to file an estafa, becaise it's inconvinient for him and lawyer can want much.

If I remember corect there is "small value" cases when the value is not very high (Under 100 000p ?) IF so, and if it become such case, then each pay the own lawyer even if winning.

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