The dangers of refunding cash

A Lawgistics client was recently the victim of an unpleasant scam involving a local criminal to whom unbeknownst to our client, he had sold a vehicle.  When our client decided the best option was to accept a rejection following some complaints by the customer our client agreed to refund the money in cash.  On meeting with the customer our client handed over the cash, but in return was not given the car, the keys and the paperwork.  The customer instead got into the car and drove away, and although eventually arrested has claimed he never received a cash refund and that the car is his.  The police’s position is that without cash to seize, there is no evidence any crime has been committed.  Of course, the car remains registered to the local criminal. 

Money laundering regulations require customer due diligence on any occasional high value deal over €15,000 for non high-value-dealers and on all cash deals over €10,000 for high-value-dealers.  This didn’t happen in this case and as cash was accepted our client returned cash on the customers insistence. 

This horrible story highlights the importance of some formality when agreeing to accept a rejection and provide a refund.  Money transferred as a refund should be traceable via bank accounts and in the event cash is returned, the procedure should be done in a formal environment, not at the customers home or other meeting place and documents exchanged before the refund.  It’s not a legal necessity to have a settlement form signed and dated, but it can be a useful tool, agreeing that defamatory content will not be published online.


Authors: Polly Davies

Published: 20 Dec 2017


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