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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ssd Wed 01-Jan-14 20:18:56

agree very fishy

ashtrayheart Wed 01-Jan-14 20:26:08

You could report it to court of protection but you're on dodgy grounds as you shouldn't be accessing his banking.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:28:02

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MajesticWhine Wed 01-Jan-14 20:29:40

I don't think you should do anything really.

delusionindex Wed 01-Jan-14 20:32:13

Is your name on the account? If it is why does he need to transfer money from your own account to you?

ashtrayheart Wed 01-Jan-14 20:32:27

Oh I see, if it's a joint account that's different. You could report it as a safeguarding issue to your local social services if you think the 'uncle' is being financially abused, which it sounds like.

MrsKCastle Wed 01-Jan-14 20:33:17

Is the account still in both your names? If it's his name only, then you shouldn't really be accessing it. However, if you're named on the account then I think you should query it.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:33:41

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DameDeepRedBetty Wed 01-Jan-14 20:36:15

This absolutely stinks. Yes, I'd talk to SS about financial abuse.

Your exH really is a piece of work isn't he! Sorry that your exMIL now appears to be involved too.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:39:32

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DameDeepRedBetty Wed 01-Jan-14 20:40:45

Is the elderly relative in the UK?

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:44:43

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fridayfreedom Wed 01-Jan-14 20:44:57

It is abuse of the uncles money if he is unable to give consent so yes the Court of Protection should be informed as should socialsevices as it is a safeguarding issue and potentially a removal of assets which are there to pay for care.

TheCrumpetQueen Wed 01-Jan-14 20:48:25

What a scumbag

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:51:00

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DameDeepRedBetty Wed 01-Jan-14 20:58:04

I can't think of any legitimate reason for him to be paying for your dd.

I do see your parent's POV, I know it's taken forever to get anything (have read other threads of yours), but basically your exMIL is defrauding this man and his blood relatives.

ssd Wed 01-Jan-14 21:11:49

it stinks but I'd be in 2 minds, your dd might end up with bugger all

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 21:15:30

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salsmum Wed 01-Jan-14 21:15:34

Could you not contact his bank (uncles) depending on the amount his bank might be a little suspicious about sums of money suddenly coming out? x

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 21:16:33

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ssd Wed 01-Jan-14 21:17:06

I'd keep quiet, but keep it up my sleeve if you know what I mean

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 01-Jan-14 21:19:56

That's disgusting. Good for you that you are concerned. I'm not sure what you should do but the bank is probably first stop.

EdithWeston Wed 01-Jan-14 21:20:07

The abuse of the elderly is a serious problem.

You have evidence which suggests that a vulnerable individual is being defrauded.

Yes, that should be acted upon. The vulnerable should be protected.

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 01-Jan-14 21:21:46

The police then. And that's not something I'd usually say.

fridayfreedom Wed 01-Jan-14 21:22:37

Perhaps when you get the first payment you could query it with your bank and ask them for the name of the bank and account it is transferred from, then query it with his bank as you are not expecting the payment?

SummerRain Wed 01-Jan-14 21:26:53

What eu country is it? If it's Holland they'll be caught anyway. My father has poa for my uncle and manages his money, uncle is incapacitated and in a home. My father gets frequent calls and letters from the authorities querying expenditure on my uncle's accounts... They threatened to remove my dad's poa because they were suspicious of a holiday and a computer paid for with uncle's money, both legitimate expenses totally for my uncle's benefit but the high values had triggered alerts and the authorities told my father he shouldn't be spending so much hmm

I wouldn't get involved, you found out through illegal means and they'll probably be caught anyway

MuttonCadet Wed 01-Jan-14 21:28:13

I think you need to do something, but if your name is no longer on the account you shouldn't be accessing it, you could get yourself into trouble.

WorraLiberty Wed 01-Jan-14 21:29:17

I know that my dobbing them in would be basically motivated by the fact that I can't bear the lot of them and would like to see them suffer in some way.

This makes me think that I should possibly just stay quiet.

I understand that ^^

But really it should be motivated by the fact an elderly gentleman may be having his money stolen.

I don't think you should keep quiet at all.

MmeLindor Wed 01-Jan-14 21:31:51

Won't you see when the payment comes in that it is from the uncle's account?

Have you a way of contacting the authorities in that country - giving a tip off without your ex and his family finding out it was you?

The sound vile.

ssd Wed 01-Jan-14 21:32:36

well, either he loses out and doesnt ever know it or her dd loses out and knows it full well

FudgefaceMcZ Wed 01-Jan-14 21:35:49

Report to Uncle's care home, that's fucking outrageous and none of them should get away with it. Poor man. At the very least, if they have power of attorney over his money it needs to be removed and given to an objective/independent carer instead.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 21:37:13

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KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 21:38:35

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MmeLindor Wed 01-Jan-14 21:41:34

I'm wondering if you can report anonymously - to let the authorities know that there is something fishy going on.

Do you speak German?

florencedombey Wed 01-Jan-14 21:43:00

Attorneys power to make gifts to a third party under an EPA are very limited and unlikely to cover this arrangement. I would suggest reporting it to the Office of the Public Guardian as a first step. They will investigate and report to the police if necessary. Can't do a link as on phone but suggest you google their website.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 21:44:25

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MmeLindor Wed 01-Jan-14 21:52:51

I can ask DH - he worked in a bank in Germany for years, so might know if there is something you could do.

KingRollo Wed 01-Jan-14 22:07:14

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Lolalocket Wed 01-Jan-14 22:08:09

What possible reason do you have to look at your exH's account? This is totally out of order. The fact that you historically have the passwords does not give you the right to continue to use them. The fact that it used to be a jont account is completely irrelevant.
Your highly questionable behaviour has now left you in a very difficult position. You may get yourself into trouble admitting how you know this but the right thing to do is act to protect this poor man. Perhaps you can anonymously tip of the police or nursing home or an elderly persons charity.
And stop checking his account, it's positively stalkerish.

RenterNomad Wed 01-Jan-14 22:39:32

How bloody ironic that being vigilant for her child, and ending up witnessing something that benefits a vulnerable elderly person, is supposedly abusive stalking!

KingRollo, "Evil flourishes when good men do nothing," so you do have a responsibility to do something. However, maybe the "stalking" accusers have a tiny point, in that Germany has a very sensitive history: on the one hand more could have been done to resist crimes against the vulnerable (including children and the sick/elderly), but there's also the Stasi past to be considered, when people were spied on by their own families and neighbours.

Maybe talk to your lawyer, frankly, about the situation, and see what s/he recommends. Maybe there's a part of the divirce process - financial disclosure - which could allow you to "see" the bank account. Or perhaps your ex's negligence in changing passwords leaves you clear, particularly as you have never transferred money which didn't belong to you... unlike your exMIL seems to have done. That is utterly disgusting.

I know nothing about Germany, and banking. BUT, when you are old, some people regard it as "tax planning" to let their elderly relatives pay for stuff for their children, grand children, as this is "allowed" without tax implications. They would want to reduce uncles inheritance by making small inconspicuous payments from relative...

I handle my mums accounts, but I keep every receipt and log them, in case I have to account to the authorities in future. I would never buy gifts for my children from her, she is not in a fit state to think of gifts for anybody, so it is well fishy that they do this ...

Lolalocket Wed 01-Jan-14 22:52:07

Checking her H's account has absolutely nothing to do with being vigilant for her child. She does not need to see how he is getting the money, or what is coming in and out of his account. She will see the money when it hits her account and that's all she needs to know.
She was not monitoring his account because she suspected financial abuse of an elderly relative. I am not sure why she was doing it, but I am certain she has no right to do it. The information she came across does not justify her actions.
I didn't call it abusive but it is stalkerish.

MajesticWhine Wed 01-Jan-14 23:04:10

I think you should keep out of it. You have absolutely no right to this information. Besides, can any good can come of reporting it? Is someone's well being at stake?

RenterNomad Thu 02-Jan-14 08:52:22

Is someone's well being at stake?

It's unlikely that the exMIL has the right to help herself to this money for this particular purpose. Even if the old man is rich enough to pay for his care home for years, is it still "right" to help oneself to "money he won't miss"? hmm

ZillionChocolate Thu 02-Jan-14 09:06:47

I might start by asking your lawyer whether in principle you can access the former joint account. If you tell her you've already been doing it, she might have to disclose this.

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 02-Jan-14 09:20:13

There seem to be a few rather elastic consciences on the thread recently. If any of you saw someone put their hand in someone else's pocket or bag while they were distracted, remove something, and walk off with it, would you stay quiet or would you tell a policeman?

Steph3141 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:23:36

I don't think you should get has potential negative consequences for yourself and your DC. You shouldn't really be looking at his bank info either.

Queenoftheworld Thu 02-Jan-14 09:27:03

In the UK, this would be quite clear cut. When someone has lost their mental capacity to take a particular decision (this assessment normally involves GP/solicitor) then the appointed Attorneys (or social worker if there are none) must act for them in their BEST INTERESTS. No-one elses. If you call the Office of the Public Guardian, the first option on their helpline is 'report abuse'.

If the local authority is later asked to help pay for residential care, they have the power to ask where the person's money has gone, going back years (deprivation of capital). Gifts are subject to tight scrutiny.

I have no idea what the rules would be in Germany, but imagine things would be similar.

kilmuir Thu 02-Jan-14 09:28:53

Poor old Uncle. How dare they.

kilmuir Thu 02-Jan-14 09:30:48

steph3141 are you suggesting she says nothing as her maintenance will be affected. Thats awful. I would hope the Op has better morals than that.

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Thu 02-Jan-14 09:31:13

Unfortunately you have opened a huge can of worms by doing something you should not have been doing - accessing an account you are no longer named on. Especially as you have not been given explicit permission to do that by your ex.

Now you know, the best thing to do would be to write anonymously to the care home the uncle is in saying you have reason to believe his family are stealing from him. I'm going to assume uncle's money could be used to pay the care home fees/anything he may need and so they would have a vested interest in making sure it's not being dripped away slowly. One off payments and gifts are one thing. But a regular payment without a legitimate receipt may be enough to raise a concern.

Ziggyzoom Thu 02-Jan-14 09:43:24

I am utterly flabbergasted at the number of people on this thread who think that the OP should just keep quiet when she suspects that a vulnerable old man is being fleeced in this way.

Granted the OP would struggle to justify looking at the bank account, though I'm glad she did. I can think of no criminal offence that she has committed whereas what she has uncovered is clearly something worthy of a criminal investigation..

MajesticWhine Thu 02-Jan-14 09:59:24

But the OP doesn't know the facts. The old guy could have granted power of attorney to the Ex MIL. He could have agreed to this arrangement prior to becoming incapacitated, in the interests of saving on inheritance tax. Or possibly yes, he is being fleeced. I think the OP has no business getting involved.
It might make her feel better to do something about it, but that is for her own comfort rather than actually helping anyone else.

delusionindex Thu 02-Jan-14 11:49:43

There may or may not be an innocent/lawful explanation for this transfer of money, however what is definitely a criminal offence is accessing somebody elses online banking when you are not authorised to do so. If you report it be prepared that nothing may happen to your exes family and you may end up with a criminal conviction.

Steph3141 Thu 02-Jan-14 11:55:16

To Kilmuir...partly yes but mostly because she doesn't know for sure what the situation is and everyone seems very keen to jump on the bandwagon of going to the police. The OP should not have been snooping in her ex bank info and could get into trouble for that. Maybe some of you should think about that before encouraging her to get involved. It is all a massive assumption at this stage anyway.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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

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.


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

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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?

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