Legal Question in Business Law in Pennsylvania

50 -50 partnerships

I have been in a 50-50 partnership in a small video store business for 7.5 years. Recently I found out that my partner has used my name to aquire credit cards and also has been paying his personal life bills out of the store bank account. This is to the tune of about $200,000.00. When confronted he agreed to sign off on the store but now is giving me a hard time and claiming he was giving himself loans out of the store. He has purchased vehicles, electronics, personal care items, camping items, clothes etc. with this money. I was told it is legal for him to do this and to sign my name on my credit cards because we are partners and it is considered to be like husband and wife. Is this true and what should I do. The store is only worth $50,000.00 annual receivables are aroung $200,000.00. If I lose the store I will lose my home. I need to be able to repay the $20,000 of credit card debt he left me with in my name. Please help.

Asked on 11/13/03, 11:59 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gerry Elman Elman Technology Law, P.C.

Re: 50 -50 partnerships

Sounds like this isn't the kind of thing that's going to be resolved by a simple message on a public BBS.

What you need to do immediately is to sit down with your own personal lawyer (not someone who represents the partnership) and get some urgent advice. Then you'll develop a game plan for talking with the partnership's accountant and lawyer and your partner. Perhaps the partner's conduct meets the test of being embezzlement and criminal penalties might be applicable. This situation and the months of proceedings to resolve it are undoubtedly emotionally painful, but you'll need to bite the bullet and get serious legal advice right now in order to preserve your livelihood.

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Answered on 11/13/03, 1:09 pm

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