Civil Theft

Over the years our firm has handled countless cases involving employees of banks or broker-dealers who steal money from their clients. In these cases, our firm often works together with the members of law enforcement who are prosecuting the criminal portion of the case. In the vast majority of these civil theft cases, the person who committed the act of theft is either incarcerated or missing – it is almost always the case that the stolen funds are gone. In these cases, it is our job to locate other parties who are both legally responsible for the employee’s theft and financial solvent. This is often a very complex and difficult task, which requires creative and aggressive lawyering.

Our firm has been involved in a number of very high-profile theft cases involving major financial institutions. One recent and notable case involved a former Royal Alliance broker, Gary Basralian, who was alleged to have stolen millions from elderly widows. If you or someone you know has been the victim of civil theft, please contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation.

How do I know if my state has a civil theft statute?

Not every state has a civil theft statute. Even if you state does not have a specific law for civil theft, every state recognizes the common law tort of conversation or misappropriation. Contact us if you would like to know more about your state’s civil theft statute.

Does liability insurance cover employee theft of funds?

Many financial firms have special insurance products known as “fidelity bonds,” which cover theft. Standard commercial liability policies alone will generally never cover claims related to theft.

How is a bank or broker-dealer legally responsible for its employee’s theft of funds?

Banks and broker-dealers, like all employers, are liable for the acts of their employees under a category of law known as agency law. Financial institutions may also be liable to victims of theft based on the banks own negligence in processing fund transfers.

Won’t the prosecutor help me get my money back?

Generally, no. Most cases involving theft end with sentencing and a “restitution order,” which is a court order directing the criminal to compensate his/her victims. Most restitution orders are never satisfied and victims of theft often need to pursue separate legal claims against solvent third parties who are also legally responsible for the theft.

What is the statute of limitations for civil theft?

The law pertaining to civil theft is different in every jurisdiction. As a result, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. Please contact us with any questions you may have about your state’s laws.