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To think that there's something fishy going on here?

(81 Posts)
KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:17:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RenterNomad Fri 03-Jan-14 10:32:29

Good idea, RedHelenB, although I'd worry a bit that the exMIL would be the executor of the estate and would fudge it. After all, even though he's intestate, she's got PoA... or would that legally exclude her from executor duties, to avoid conflict of interest?

Are estates independently audited in Germany?

RedHelenB Fri 03-Jan-14 09:23:31

Surely it will all come to light eventually when the distant relatives inherit?

KingRollo Fri 03-Jan-14 09:12:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deakymom Thu 02-Jan-14 22:38:31

is there any legit way you could have come across this information? if not send it in anonymously that way you make the right choice and dont get into trouble xx

MmeLindor Thu 02-Jan-14 21:07:08

I would leave it for the authorities to deal with it, if I were you. No point in stirring things up between you and your ex.

jay55 Thu 02-Jan-14 20:45:50

The only way it could be innocent if your ex mil accidentally transferred to the uncles account instead of sons, then transferred it out to rectify the mistake.

SmileItsANewYear Thu 02-Jan-14 20:18:55

Morally I don't think I could know what you know and accept the money without first finding out what the situation is. Either by speaking to them or reporting it.

I would doubt if you reported it that they would find out it was you, you could ask not to be named.

MuttonCadet Thu 02-Jan-14 20:10:47

I'm glad that it's sorted, you've had enough to worry about without adding XPIL possible fraud. It sounds like the authorities will be all over it in due course.

KingRollo Thu 02-Jan-14 20:01:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Thu 02-Jan-14 20:00:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmeLindor Thu 02-Jan-14 19:48:23

I've asked DH about this. He says that the German equivalent of the Power of Attorney is very strict. They don't just hand over the details of the account and let the person use it as they please. They will be subject to regular checks to ensure the payments made are inkeeping with the arrangements made ie in this case, to pay for any expenses the uncle has.

He reckons you should keep out of it as the authorities will find out soon. As far as he is aware, checks are carried out several times a year.

Hth.

daisychain01 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:36:39

Hiya, so sorry I couldn't remember from your previous posts whether there was any communication between you. I can imagine how difficult it must be without any cooperation on his side.

I agree with the posters who suggest you need to somehow need to acknowledge your concern. If the money has been credited to the bank account that your Ex has told you he will be paying maintenance, can you start by talking with your bank to trace the payment back to its origin, then approach the originating bank and see if they are prepared to give information about who made the transfer.

The aim is to get the true facts, then if there is enough to give you suspicion that there is indeed something fishy, can you get some legal advice, and maybe get a letter to your ex so you don't have to deal with him direct, but are making it official that you have grave concerns.

I would hate him to do the dirty on you if there is financial wrong doing by dragging you into it, and he may feel forced to give a clear explanation.

I realise it is a very round about way, but at least you are taking the matter into your own hands and not letting him get in the way of that. Only a few ideas, just want to give you support. Such a tough time at the moment x

CerealMom Thu 02-Jan-14 19:30:47

I couldn't keep on accepting money I thought had been siphoned off from a vulnerable old man on behalf of my child.

You could argue the legalities of looking at the account but you could also counter-argue the legalities/moralities of sitting on this information and doing nothing.

If there has been theft, would you be implicated once the agencies follow the money? Would you have to pay the money back?

You could:
Ask a solicitor their opinion - would you get into trouble looking at the account? Are you obligated to disclose the information? Would you have to pay back the money?

Go straight to xMiL and ask her about the money.

Go straight to a relevant agency - police/German equivalent of Social Services/bank.

Do nothing.

KingRollo Thu 02-Jan-14 19:17:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

daisychain01 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:57:33

Hi KingRollo, just wondering, and sorry if this sounds too simplistic, would you be able to talk about this matter directly with your Ex?

There is surely no harm in you making some tentative and specific enquiries, trying to find out more about the source of the payment, how it relates to Ex's Uncle (you can express some "confusion", how has that happened? etc) without any suggestion at all of financial wrong-doing.

Then if things turn out to be completely 'above board' and all OK then you wont have "egg on your face", no harm done so to speak. Also it is more likely to help you get some facts, because of the potential legalities involved

What you don't want to do is be seen to be accepting money, without having done your civic duty to ensure it is all in good order.

Whether or not it is 'fishy', is not down to being your fault or action, that is clear.

Lolalocket Thu 02-Jan-14 17:17:42

The OP was given the account password by the Ex who didn't then change it. If you give someone your password and they access your account, that's your responsibility.

This may be the case as far as the bank is concerned. If someone accesses your account using a pin you gave them the bank will not reimburse you for the loss. However this does not mean the person is any less in the wrong. I have spare keys to several neighbours house. I would not presume that this entitles me to let myself in whenever I like? They never said to me I couldn't but I think common decency suggests that you should not enter someone else's property without their permission even if you have the means to do so. The same surely applies to bank accounts. I find it strange how many posters are tying themselves in knots to clear the OP of any wrong doing, even though she is clearly in the wrong in doing what she is doing.

delusionindex Thu 02-Jan-14 16:29:20

If you give your partner the key to your house and subsequently split up with them and forget to change the locks does that give your partner the right to let themselves in whenever they feel like it for a snoop around? Yes you might have a hard time claiming on the insurance if they do decide to nick anything, but they are still committing a crime. Poor security does not make otherwise illegal activities lawful.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 02-Jan-14 16:25:14

If I give my debit card and pin (not a joint account) to my dh, and instead of doing the weekly shop he buys a ticket to Jakarta, there is bugger all I can do about it, because I gave over the pin willingly. Wouldn't that apply here; the ex willingly gave op the passwords and hasn't yet changed them?

MightyMagnificentScarfaceClaw Thu 02-Jan-14 16:24:57

The OP was given the account password by the Ex who didn't then change it. If you give someone your password and they access your account, that's your responsibility.

A relative of mine had money taken in the same circumstances, and now risks losing her care home place. If someone knew early on I would absolutely expect them to report it, how could anyone think otherwise when a vulnerable elderly person is being exploited? The OP's main reason against seems to be that she would get some enjoyment from getting the Ex into trouble - is that really reason enough to collude with robbing the uncle?

delusionindex Thu 02-Jan-14 16:13:50

Ziggyzoom, what the OP is doing is a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. And here we are over 20 years later and people still seem to think you can't commit a crime if you do it from the comfort of your own home! No wonder there are so many people who still incriminate themselves on twitter and facebook and the like.

Maybe the OP would not get prosecuted due to it being an account of a recent ex partner they used to be able to access, but I wouldn't presume to have the legal experience to say if this would be the case. I certainly don't think uncovering a (possible) worse crime by accident in the course of committing her own crime is going to stand up as a defence. Whether the OP is morally compelled to own up to her own crime on the possibility it uncovers another I'll leave for others to debate.

AuntySib Thu 02-Jan-14 15:23:14

Just noticed you say its an old joint account. Are you still named on the account? Because if you are and the ££ is being received fraudulently and you know about it , it may well be that the onus is on you to report it. If it is not in your name any longer then the position may be different.
It may be that it is legitimate, but I think in your shoes I'd raise it with your Ex first of all. Is your relationship such that you could ask him where the ££ is coming from? And mention that you're worried about the legality?

Ziggyzoom Thu 02-Jan-14 15:13:26

The only criminal offence committed by looking at someone else's online bank account that I can think of falls under the Data Protection Act and I can't imagine the CPS ever considering a prosecution in these circumstances. To suggest that the OP's sense of self-preservation should be prioritised over the welfare of a vulnerable old man in circumstances such as these is mind-boggling. Of course there may be an innocent explanation (though I sincerely doubt it) and the only way to find out is to report your concerns.

EdithWeston Thu 02-Jan-14 12:20:25

Sorty, for UK read E/W, though I'm pretty sure there's a parallel system for Scotland.

EdithWeston Thu 02-Jan-14 12:18:56

In UK, the person holding the POA has a duty to act in the best interests of the vulnerable person who cannot manage their own affairs, and the Court of Protection can step in if there is abuse.

Unless OP has reason to think the uncle has consented for his assets to be used to discharge someone else's financial obligations, then it is possible that he is being defrauded. That is wrong, and a crime in the UK.

Killinascullion Thu 02-Jan-14 12:15:35

OP knows that Uncle has granted PoA to MiL to manage his financial affairs but MiL will not inherit his estate when he dies as he hasn't written a will and he does have some distant blood relatives.

I would have though an anonymous letter to the equivalent services in Germany explaining that she believes that Uncle's account is being defrauded will be enough to salvage her conscience. She doesn't need to give specifics but allow the authorities to investigate.

Imagine if the elderly relative was someone you knew?

If something stinks, you can't just pretend it doesn't.

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