Criminal Law/Falsified Receipt for Reimbursement
QUESTION: My ex sent me copies of medical receipts for our son. On one of the receipts she tried erasing the date and changing it to a month prior, then she wrote what the receipt was for over top of the date. She gave this to me on 1/21/13 so that she is reimbursed 50%. She had previously given me this very same receipt along with others on 12/19/12 the receipt is dated 11/6/12 for $35 but now it's magically changed to 10/8/12 for $35. I know they are the same because you can clearly see the erase mark, a “0” written on over the 1 (making it a 10) however she neglected to change the register number, employee number and transaction number. In December, she claimed (according to receipts) that I owed her $27.50. Now she is saying I owe her $45. By her falsifying this receipt, she has doubled what I actually owe and covered her own expense. Makes me wonder how many times she has done this in the past.
I’m not sure how I should proceed. Should I file a civil claim against her at town hall or go through the family court? Or both?
Yes, you should definitely take your evidence and have it documented as a formal complaint in family court. This should be done so as to offset any child support agreement in force in your particular county and cast your ex-wife's actions in a negative light. In order to have your incident memorialized for future use you could contact your local police department and have a report generated. Perhaps the officer could suggest whether or not your ex-wife's act constitutes a fraudulent act. When in doubt contact your divorce attorney.
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QUESTION: Does it matter if I file a complaint down town first or should I file first with family court?
I just received copies of previous motions she filed claiming I owed over $1,000 in medical expenses however she was unable to supply the court with any evidence what so ever and her motion was denied. Also, she just sent me a letter demanding payment on the receipts she just sent me but now she has the amount due as $90 more than what she was originally requesting. It just gets better everyday!
It seems like you called her bluff. Nice job. Keep on documenting her actions to include communications. This will be important to show a pattern of making unreasonable demands against you.
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QUESTION: When I file a motion\claim in family court what would be the outcome if the judge recognizes the fraud? Would family court charge her with fraud or are they just going to tell her she's not going to be reimbursed the amount she's demanding?
I want her charged with fraud, which upon my reading is a felony with jail time from 5 to 7 years. What would be the best course of action to increase the changes of this happening? Should I file a civil action against her at town hall first? Or should I file the motion in family court first
Would this be something a public defender would handle for me?
At that level she would just be denied her claim. It would be up to the DA to prosecute for fraud. You could try to prosecute yourself but you would would have to pay for the fees, etc. A public defender will not do this for you, but could recommend that it be done through the DA's Office by speaking with them.