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is it fraud to cash a check that you found made out to cash?
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is it fraud to cash a check that you found made out to cash?

Found a check made out to cash for $1500, was wondering if anybody knew what the law says about me just going to the bank and cashing it.

totaly leagal G use it

A check (a negotiable instrument) is an order by the drawer to the drawee (the bank) to pay a sum certain, blah, blah. A check can be order paper (Pay to the order of john smith) or bearer paper (pay to the order of cash, etc - where a specific person/entity is not named)).

A check made out to cash is bearer paper and can be cashed by anyone in possession. If you found it in the street, it's yours. It's up to the party that created the bearer paper to maintain a degree of responsibility (not be negligent) with regards to the check. You're a holder with the right to possession. It's yours to cash.

Illegal? Probably not. Immoral? Definitely.

Not to mention, when you cash it, the person who wrote might be able to track down who cashed it - as in you. Better hope that person isn't a violent one...

Maybe you should return it to the bank and tell them you found it, that way they can notify the owner.

thinking wise
1. Banks do not cash checks made to cash unless the acount owner is present.
2. Even if they did, the owner has probably stop-paid this check considering it is MIA.
3. Even if both of the above were not true, this person needed $1500 out of their account and probably already did. In all likelyhood, there are insufficient funds to cover the check even if you tried.
4. If you did try, you do stand the chance of getting arrested if the person decides to prosecute. (That is if they feel it was stollen)

No-it is not fraud. Cashing a check under someone's elses name is, but not cash. It may be wrong, but it isn't fraud

If not illegal,(it probably is) it is at least unethical. The check will have the bank and account holder's name on it , you should contact them or turn it over to the police as lost and found. You may get a reward, you will at least get some karma in your favor.

Do the right thing and send the check back to the whoever wrote it.

is it made to you? if not, yes that is illegal.
good luck

Loss Leader
You've got a bearer instrument there. It's the property of whomever holds it. Now, whether the bank will honor it is a different story. But if they don't, you can sue the bank.

how stupid could you be to even think about it. yes and they would trace it to you.

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