Legal Question in Business Law in Maryland

A customers check bounced, what do I do now?

I am a college student and seller on eBay. A customer who won one of my auctions on eBay sent a check, and I sent him the videos he won in the auction. A few weeks later, I received an envelope from my bank and a letter saying that the check had bounced and that I had been charged five dollars in fees. Included in the envelope was the check as well.

The customer has said that he would send another check, but the past several times I have emailed him I have received no response. I am now certain that he has no intention of sending the check just by my asking for it, and it has now been months since the check bounced in early October.

My question is: What action(s) should I take to compel the customer to send another check? Which legal authority handles check fraud? Since the check was sent by postal mail, does that also make it a federal crime? My hope is that once confronted with this information, the customer will honor the contract and send another check. If not, then what legal authority should I contact to have the issue resolved?

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my question. I greatly appreciate it.

Asked on 12/24/99, 6:16 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bruce Lewis Bruce Lewis P.C.

Re: A customers check bounced, what do I do now?

1. Call EBay immediately & report the problem!! They have a Fraud division which could help you out.

2. Call the local county District Attorney and file a criminal complaint against this guy!

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Answered on 12/28/99, 12:56 pm

Abba D. Poliakoff Gordon, Feinblatt LLC

Re: A customers check bounced, what do I do now?

Issuing a bad check with the intention to defraud is actionable - both in a civil context as well as criminal. Knowing issuance of a bad check is a civil fraud. In addition, Maryland has laws that prohibit the issuance of bad checks. If you decide to file a complaint, call the Attorney General's office and they will direct you, or speak to your local State Attorney's office in your county. (Be careful not to threaten the person with criminal prosecution, as that itself is a criminal offense.)

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Answered on 12/28/99, 8:40 am

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