Is there a crime for receiving money under false pretenses.
A colleague at work solicited a large sum of money from me promising large returns investing and now I fear they don't intend to give it back. A paper agreement was signed and a check was used. I received 2 paper statements showing big gains, but became suspicious. I asked for my money over 2 months ago and after a bunch of excuses and heated discussions I am told no profits will be given to me and I fear my original sum may even be in jeopardy. What can I do? This person it appears is not ethical and I want to know what I should do?
If your colleague created this scheme as a way to basically get you to give him money and he had no intention of repaying you according to the agreement you have a claim for fraud and breach of contract, especially if the colleague promised in the document to give the sums stated therein. I think that this person needed money and came up with a scheme to get you to give them money by promising you the moon and the stars and is now backing out and claiming that this was an investment gone bad. I suggest that you file a lawsuit against this person for fraud and breach of contract. The person certainly defrauded you and is not likely able to prove the validity of the investment/contract he made with you. Take action immediately to get your money back.
Fraud is a crime. Lying to someone intending to get money from them under false pretenses is a fraud; for example, that's what Bernie Madoff did. Merely losing an investment owing to bad luck or even bad management is not a crime; the issue is the intention. If the colleague never intended to invest the money as promised and/or used it for himself, that's a crime; if he just made awful investments, it's not.
You will not know for sure unless you file a lawsuit and used the mechanisms of the court to obtain more information. Assuming by "large sum" you mean at least a few thousand dollars, you should immediately consult with an attorney about whether you have a claim worth pursuing and, if you do, starting it. In cases of fraud like this, it's important to move fast; the longer you wait, the greater the chance there's no money left to recover. You may also, after discussing w/your attorney, decide to report this to the police, Attorney General's office, and/or SEC.