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Old 04-09-2012, 12:11 PM
sir viks sir viks is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 190
What is the potential penalty for signing someone else's signature on a tax refund?

I'll start by saying that IANAL, so I guess I'm asking for help with a potential legal matter.

My brother is going through a nasty divorce. His soon-to-be ex-wife is crazy, but let's keep this out of the discussion for the moment (in which I could fill this web site with examples of her lunacy).

After serving my brother in October 2011, he still kept a joint checking account with his wife. This was OK as long as she provided him with the carbon copies of the checks (and, she wasn't going crazy spending money). He is a professional, she hardly works because of choice.

In January 2012, she stopped providing carbon copies of the checks. So, my brother closes the joint checking account, opened his own checking account, thus cutting off her revenue stream. She sued him for half of the money that was in the account at the time. In March, the judge completely sided with my brother, and dismissed all charges. She was also responsible for court costs & fees.

Recently, they had their taxes done, and they were expecting a refund of over $400. When my brother checked with the state, he was informed that the check, made out to him & his wife, was sent out in early March. Since they are still living together (again, more stories could follow), it is strongly suspected that she may have intercepted this refund, made out to both parties, and signed her/his name & pocketed the refund. We suspect that she may have been emboldened to do so after her loss on the early checking account issue.

So -- in a divorce, if one party signs the other party's name without permission, specifically a state tax refund check, is there a law that is broken (forgery? false check? stealing?). If a law has been broken here, what is the potential penalty for something like this?

Since I know nothing of the law, I would greatly appreciate any advice, or at least someone who has had experience with this topic. Thanks.

Last edited by sir viks; 04-09-2012 at 12:12 PM.


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