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Old 22.02.2011, 11:59
Ziger Ziger is offline
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Re: Legal Action for overpayment

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Sometime afterwards, Bob was contacted by the Payroll Agency who claimed to have submitted a double payment by mistake, and wanted seven and a half grand back. This was of course nonsense, but they are now threatening legal action involving "swindle and fraud and a warrant" [for Bob's arrest].

Anyone got any advice of what Bob should do? He is reluctant to get involved in costly legal proceedings, but niether does he want to come down on the worng side of the law. Can he just ignore the whole thing, given that he is now back in London?
So, if I understand correctly, they are thus far only threatening legal action, right? It is probably best to wait to see if they will actually go through before doing anything. Threatening someone with legal action is the first step in trying to resolve something without going to court. It doesn't mean that they will actually take it to court. Filing in court would mean, first of all, taking on the costs of the process and, secondly, knowing that they can prove their claims.

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However as he has left Switzerland I think he can safely sleep well at night, as the possibility of persuing him internationally for CHF 7'500 is nil.
Not really. If they really do get a court order here in Switzerland, it is easily enforced in England. He would however have to be properly served, which means also a chance to defend himself, should it even get that far.

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To clear his conscience he might want to write to the Payroll company (With no return address!) explaining that they have made a mistake.
This is not a bad suggestions, except that no return address part (not too hard to get around that). Send a registered letter stating that you deny all such claims and that you have all the documents (assuming you do) to prove that you were not overpaid, so any actions taken in court would have no merit.

Given how fishy the whole setup was, it sounds like they are hoping to scare him into coughing up the money and don't have any real interest in going to court. This in particular as they are not threatening him with a civil law suit but "arrest", which is criminal and a whole other ball game, as we say. Fishy, fishy, fishy.
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