Criminal responsibility on cheque signer only

  • By Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent
  • Published: 14:04 January 24, 2013

I am a partner in an LLC company, and there are three other partners with me also. The company currently incurred heavy losses due to the wrong behaviour of the director and lack of experience in the market as well. The director has signed cheques for customers which have been returned from the bank due to the company’s insufficient money to cover these cheques. One of the companies contacted me personally and threatened me that in the event of non-payment of the cheque that they will inform the police and ask them to oblige me to pay the as they feel that our company has cheated them. My question is, am I really responsible for the value of the said cheque? The amount of the cheque is quite high. Would I be obliged to pay the same from my personal funds in the absence of balance with the company, as the director and the other partner had run away and maybe left UAE? Please advise.

I would like to assure you that you are not responsible criminally for the said cheque as long as you have not signed it, and the threat by the holder of the cheque has no basis. The police will not summon you in this regard, as the criminal responsibility is borne by the one who signed the cheque only. If the holder of the cheque sends the said cheque to the civil court, your personal money has no relation to the value of the said cheque, and its execution shall be only on the assets of the company. However, I would like to point out an important issue in this regard, if the collapse of the company results from fraud and deception by the partners to obtain the people’s money unjustly, then the public prosecution may interfere because of this and thus the case may take another path.

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