Parents stole trust fund/junior ISA money. Is this legal?

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dragongdc
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This happened to a friend. I'm trying to find out what we can do about this to help him.

Basically, when my friend turned 18, he received his trust fund money. His parents made him transfer it all into their bank account, under the preface of "we dont want you to spend all of it, so we're going to keep it for you for driving lessons".

Now, a few months on, his parents have no intention of giving him back his trust fund money and are also not paying for his driving lessons with it either. They are using it to go on holiday to scotland and for their own use. When he asked for it back they laughed in his face and said it was theirs now.

Is there anything we can do about this? He's going away to uni in just a few days and could really use the money. He is hoping to avoid taking this to court but is willing to do so if it's needed of him. Thank you
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Reue
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(Original post by dragongdc)
This happened to a friend. I'm trying to find out what we can do about this to help him.

Basically, when my friend turned 18, he received his trust fund money. His parents made him transfer it all into their bank account, under the preface of "we dont want you to spend all of it, so we're going to keep it for you for driving lessons".

Now, a few months on, his parents have no intention of giving him back his trust fund money and are also not paying for his driving lessons with it either. They are using it to go on holiday to scotland and for their own use. When he asked for it back they laughed in his face and said it was theirs now.

Is there anything we can do about this? He's going away to uni in just a few days and could really use the money. He is hoping to avoid taking this to court but is willing to do so if it's needed of him. Thank you
It sounds like a pretty clear case of theft. Your friend should contact the police.
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Catherine1973
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What evidence does he have of the agreement? Or that they won’t repay it at any point.
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Surnia
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You haven't got the full story, only what he's told you.

He is 18, he's an adult, he chose to transfer the money to his parents. Where's the proof of it being theft?
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Zarek
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Not a great starting point if he transferred the money to them, can’t imagine the police losing too much sleep over this. How much money are we talking about, not generally a great idea to sue your parents. He could try some advice from a solicitor
Last edited by Zarek; 1 day ago
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StriderHort
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(Original post by Surnia)
You haven't got the full story, only what he's told you.

He is 18, he's an adult, he chose to transfer the money to his parents. Where's the proof of it being theft?
That really, The way OP describe it they've largely gave the money away.

Talk of laughing in the face just makes me also suspect we're not getting the facts.
Last edited by StriderHort; 3 days ago
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dragongdc
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(Original post by StriderHort)
That really, The way OP describe it they've largely gave the money away.

Talk of laughing in the face just makes me also suspect we're not getting the facts.
I hope you understand how stupid it would be to give you false facts. Giving you inaccurate information would only result in an inaccurate answer.

As for everyone else thank you for your replies
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dragongdc
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(Original post by Surnia)
You haven't got the full story, only what he's told you.

He is 18, he's an adult, he chose to transfer the money to his parents. Where's the proof of it being theft?
I guess he doesnt really have proof, but he could find some if needed, he would have no trouble recording his parents admitting it in secret, the only thing is he needs to know if what they have done actually constitutes as theft in this scenario
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Surnia
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(Original post by dragongdc)
I hope you understand how stupid it would be to give you false facts. Giving you inaccurate information would only result in an inaccurate answer.

As for everyone else thank you for your replies
By definition 'Facts' aren't false. You may have given us inaccurate information as that's what you were given in the first place.

Your friend is an adult and capable of using Google; why hasn't he got legal advice or contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau?
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StriderHort
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(Original post by dragongdc)
I hope you understand how stupid it would be to give you false facts. Giving you inaccurate information would only result in an inaccurate answer.

As for everyone else thank you for your replies
Yes.... but people still do it in their millions every day to make themselves sound and feel better, including here (look at ANY of the CIFAS/Fraud threads at the mental corkscrewing people expect us to believe)

I simply don't know you and have no specific reason to take your facts at face value, the laughing in your face bit did sound a bit Disney Villain tbh
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Student-95
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(Original post by dragongdc)
I guess he doesnt really have proof, but he could find some if needed, he would have no trouble recording his parents admitting it in secret, the only thing is he needs to know if what they have done actually constitutes as theft in this scenario
No, transferring someone money isn't theft.
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Reue
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(Original post by Student-95)
No, transferring someone money isn't theft.
That depends on the intention.
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Surnia
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(Original post by dragongdc)
This happened to a friend. I'm trying to find out what we can do about this to help him.

Basically, when my friend turned 18, he received his trust fund money. His parents made him transfer it all into their bank account, under the preface of "we dont want you to spend all of it, so we're going to keep it for you for driving lessons".
How exactly did his parents 'make' him transfer the money, hold him at gunpoint to make him reveal his bank details?
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Trinculo
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(Original post by Surnia)
How exactly did his parents 'make' him transfer the money, hold him at gunpoint to make him reveal his bank details?
(Original post by Surnia)
You haven't got the full story, only what he's told you.

He is 18, he's an adult, he chose to transfer the money to his parents. Where's the proof of it being theft?
Either way, it makes no difference. If the friend wants the money back, he can have it. It would be up to the parents to prove it was an unconditional gift, and given that the funds came from a junior ISA, that would be quite a task.

If he gave them the money on the agreement that they would look after it, and they have decided to spend it on other things - either they had dishonest intention, in which case it is fraud; or they didn't, in which case it is still his money and could be said to be held in constructive trust - in which case they still must return it. If held on trust, then they have to pay tax on it, which should get people moving.
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Catherine1973
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I suppose the question really is, not is it theft but practically what can the op do. He could sue his parents but that would cost money and damage relations. He can go no contact but may be hard if living at home.
He can just let it go, and be wary in the future and keep reminding them of the money owed back to them.
But police won’t be interested and suing would cost more than the amount they’d get back.
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Gaddafi
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If memory serves me correct the government only put a couple hundred quid into them and invested into index funds. It will still be chump change in the grand scheme of things.

Tell him to move on but not to trust his parents with money in the future.
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Napp
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im curious where the money came from in the first place, was it the parents money to start with?
At any rate, the story sounds a bit fishy with the parents notionally cackling in his face saying that its all theirs and running off to scotland.. If, however, it is true then its simple theft that can easily be reported to your nearest friendly policeman.
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Reue
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(Original post by Napp)
im curious where the money came from in the first place, was it the parents money to start with?
If it were added to a CTF or JSA then the monney legally belongs to the account holder, regardless of who paid it in.
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Zarek
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(Original post by Napp)
im curious where the money came from in the first place, was it the parents money to start with?
At any rate, the story sounds a bit fishy with the parents notionally cackling in his face saying that its all theirs and running off to scotland.. If, however, it is true then its simple theft that can easily be reported to your nearest friendly policeman.
The government gave a few hundred pounds until that odious weasel George Osborne stoped it, mind you I’m not sure if it was a great idea. After that anyone can top it up, the kid themselves (yeah right), parents, grandparents or nobody (most likely). When you become 18 it is the child’s money, unless they transfer it to someone else
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Napp
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(Original post by Reue)
If it were added to a CTF or JSA then the monney legally belongs to the account holder, regardless of who paid it in.
I didnt say anything to the contrary...?
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