Question from Stressed, What Are the Legal Risks of Misusing a Company Credit Card?
Answer from AI:
If you have used a company credit card for personal expenses without explicit permission, there could be significant legal repercussions, even if there was no formal agreement signed regarding its use. In Missouri, as in other states, the use of company property—including credit cards—for personal benefit without authorization can lead to serious consequences.
Potential Legal Repercussions
- Criminal Charges: Misuse of a company credit card may be considered theft or embezzlement, which are criminal offenses. In Missouri, the severity of the charge can depend on the amount of money involved. If the total amount is significant, you could potentially face felony charges.
- Restitution: You may be required to pay back the amount spent on personal items. This is known as restitution, and it is a way to compensate the company for the unauthorized use of its funds.
- Civil Lawsuit: The company may decide to file a civil lawsuit against you to recover the money spent, along with any additional damages caused by your actions.
- Damage to Reputation: Beyond legal consequences, there is also the potential for damage to your professional reputation, which can affect future employment opportunities.
Considerations Without a Signed Document
Even if there was no document signed regarding the appropriate use of the company credit card, it is generally understood that company property should be used for company purposes only. The lack of a formal agreement does not necessarily protect you from the consequences of misusing company resources.
Previous Loans from Your Boss
The fact that your boss has loaned you money in the past does not imply permission to use the company credit card for personal expenses. Loans are typically separate agreements and do not extend to other aspects of financial conduct within the company.
Next Steps and Seeking Legal Advice
If you are facing potential legal action, it is crucial to seek the advice of a legal professional who can provide guidance based on the specifics of your situation. An attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations and may be able to negotiate a settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
Resources and Legal Assistance
For more information on the laws pertaining to theft and embezzlement in Missouri, you can refer to the Missouri Revisor of Statutes. If you need legal assistance, consider contacting the Missouri Bar Association for resources or to find a lawyer who specializes in employment or criminal law.
Please note that this information is not legal advice, and it is important to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.