Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“I live in Texas and I am going through a divorce. We have been separated since June of 2007. I received my 401K 1099-R form in the mail this January ’08 and learned that 17K was distributed from my 401K account without my knowledge. My wife is the one who called it in and opted out of paying the taxes, therefore I am responsible for the taxes from the disbursement. There is even a recording of her calling it in giving my pin, etc. How she still got a distribution just off of this is beyond me and is still being investigated. The check was in my name mailed to my house. The signature on the check is obviously not my signature. She signed the deposit slip in which they put a hold on it and as soon as the hold was released she withdrew the funds out of the savings with her signature on the withdrawal slip as well. Keep in mind she withdrew the funds (cash) on June 4th of last year and then left on June 11th.
1. What are the legal ramifications for her falsifying my signature and calling in and lying to obtain the disbursement from the 401K investment firm ?
2. Who pursues the charges, the bank or the investment firm that cut the check ?
3. Is this local, state, or federal charges ?
4. Is this a felony or a misdemeanor ?
5. Is she looking at doing time or probation ?”
Question: This is a very complicated situation, and the answers to your questions will be determined in large part by both your state and local rules and laws. You should have the lawyer handling your divorce look into these issues for you. And if you don’t have a lawyer, you should get one.