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Do you suspect that your business partner stole from the company?

Starting a business may have been a long-time dream of yours, and as you became more serious about the idea of starting a company, you may have decided that enlisting the help of another person would better help you pursue your goals. As a result, you formed a business partnership and moved forward with your business pursuits.

At first, your partnership may have worked like a well-oiled machine, and you may have felt confident in the direction that your company was going. However, after a time, you may have become suspicious of your partner and the fact that funds from business accounts were going missing.

Did your partner steal from business accounts?

Though you are partners in the business and technically both have access to business accounts, you likely spelled out terms in your partnership contract regarding when and how each of you could use business assets. Often, these assets go toward business-related transactions and operational expenses. If you noticed a reduction in funds but did not see corresponding business deals, you may have felt unsettled.

At first, you may have given your partner the benefit of the doubt and approached him or her about the missing funds. Unfortunately, his or her responses may not have given you any confidence that something untoward did not take place.

Gathering evidence

If you believe that pursuing a case against your partner for stealing from your company is a route you want to take, gathering evidence is an important task. First, you may want to assess your initial feelings about your partner. If you never would have suspected him or her of untrustworthy behavior in the past, you may have a stronger argument than if you always had your suspicions about him or her. 

Next, gather information that may help bolster your claims. A copy of your partnership agreement that indicates the powers each partner has over business accounts and fund usage, statements and receipts associated with the accounts and transactions, and copies of your company's financial books for additional records could help show when unauthorized withdrawals occurred.

What can you claim?

When pursuing a civil claim against your business partner, you may have the ability to claim that he or she committed fraud or breached his or her fiduciary duty. The exact claims that you could make may depend on the circumstances of the situation. Of course, embezzling from company accounts can also result in criminal charges for your partner, so you may want to fully discuss your legal options with a Mississippi attorney.

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William C. Walter PLLC
The Horizon Building
43 Town Center Square
Hattiesburg, MS 39402

Phone: 601-602-8855
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