My Sister Stole Money From Me – Should I Send Her to Jail?

Sibling squabbles may seem like common occurrences within families worldwide. However, generally love wins out in the end. But, there are instances where family disputes take an unexpected turn.

A Generous Award

The original poster (OP) asks reddit if she is in the wrong in an unusual situation regarding her sister.

She begins the story by saying that she had recently been awarded a grant of $3500, and that she was anticipating a check to be sent to her residential address as payment.

When she finally followed up with her college’s financial department, she discovered that the check was sent out, and it was even cashed by a bank back in April without her knowledge. 

Missing Check

At this point, she knew something was fishy and after some time had passed, she unraveled the truth that her very own sister had not only stolen the check, but also had recorded the OP’s social security number and forged her signature so that the check could be cashed in her sister’s name.

Astonishingly, the sister had convinced the banker that the OP had granted her permission to cash the check and the check was processed with no notification of any kind to the OP.

Apparently, the banker did not even ask the sister for an ID to prove her identity. 

Past Trouble With the Law

Adding fuel to the fire, the sister was recently arrested and placed her on thin ice with the law. If this storyteller pursues charges against her,, the sister may very well go to prison.

In the US, cashing a check without the knowledge of the intended recipient is called uttering a forged instrument, or grand theft, or bank fraud.

It is against the law in all 50 states and carries a prison term! 

Repeated Violations

Should the OP turn in her sister? Or should she find another way to handle the situation?

Well, her grandmother and mother think that the dispute should be resolved within the family and that if she was to charge her sister it would only escalate the situation and she would probably go to prison.

A subsequent update to the original post reveals that her sister had also stolen a few thousand dollars from their grandmother.

The grandma had taken cash out of the bank and it went suddenly missing from her coat pocket. Her sister (the thief) lives in their grandmother’s house, so who else could it be? 

Is the OP Justified?

Redditors had lots to say about this situation with divergent views on family loyalty and the appropriate course of action. One user stated that the OP should really just get the money back from her sister and let bygones be bygones. They wrote, “prison changes people and you don’t want a fellow with a grudge out in 10 to 20 years hunting you down”.  In this case, is it worth it to teach your sister a lesson if the lesson results in a prison sentence? 

Lessons to Be Learned 

The OP also said that her and her sister were not close and had not gotten along for a while.

In this case, another Redditor said “If your sister, TA, can steal from her own sibling, what will she do to anybody else should the chance ever present itself?

She has to learn about the implications of her actions, which could benefit her in the long run.” It may be imperative for the sister to comprehend the gravity of her actions to ensure these crimes are not repeated in the future. 

Anger From Bank Tellers

However, overwhelmingly, the responses in the comment thread were mostly centered on the negligence of the bank that the sister cashed the check too.

Many users, some who even stated that they currently work at a bank, said that that fault is entirely the banks. “I worked at a bank and if true definitely a fuck up by the teller.

A signature and SSN are not accepted endorsements. You need a picture ID and you would have to sign the check over to the account holder in person in front of us.”

People Still Use Checks?

Further, many Redditors dismiss the use of  checks altogether and think that they are outdated and insecure for monetary transactions.

To be honest, I don’t think this matters at all to the OP, who simply does not want her money to be stolen, especially by her sister who she feels at least some pressure to protect.

Is teaching someone a lesson worth a prison sentence? Would it change her sister’s behavior?

And, importantly, how do you justify your actions to others when it results in a family member serving a prison sentence?

As this gripping tale unfolds, the complex web of family dynamics, personal accountability, and the limits of financial institutions becomes increasingly evident. 

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The post My Sister Stole Money From Me – Should I Send Her to Jail? first appeared on Wealthy Living

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bogdan Vija. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit