As per the title of this question, I went to my regular check cashing place (a local liquor store), and I gave them by mistake one of the two checks I had just received from my work, and it was a voided check. Somehow they overlooked that the check was voided, and cashed my check by mistake. A week went by and I had no idea I even gave them the wrong check.

Now they are threatening me by saying they will go to the police and report me for fraud. They will not accept the legit check as I have offered to make this situation right, and now basically I'm labeled as a criminal by the liquor store.

My question is: What is going to happen to me? I know I made the mistake of giving the wrong check, but they are dumb for cashing a voided check. I'm a little worried because there is little I can do now to make this situation better, and I'm just curious as to what the police will do to me or say to them about this situation.

  • Have you given the store their money back?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 5:10
  • 1
    They'd only go to the police in order to get a letter from a judge stating that you should repay the money. If you send them a letter directly admitting the same, i.e. that you should repay the money, they have far less reason to go to the judge. At least, they'd be in less of a hurry. Of course, promising to repay the money is only the first step - you still have to actually repay them.
    – MSalters
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 12:53
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    You state: "I gave them by mistake one of the two checks I had just received from my work, and it was a voided check." Why did your employer give you a voided check?
    – TTT
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:26
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    What exactly do you mean by 'voided'? A 'voided' cheque usually has the word "VOID" written across it, which is impossible to miss. Do you mean a stopped check, where the issuer has revoked payment? Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:16
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    Yes the check clearly had "voided" all across the front of the check. In the end, yes i did return the money less $50 and they agreed to allow 1 week to pass as I did not have enough money until my next paycheck. The following week I paid the $50 by cashing my next paycheck there. Thank you everyone for the advice, I think I would possibly be in more trouble had I not posting my question in this forum
    – user60152
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 3:58

5 Answers 5


The store wants their money back.

It's understandable that they are hesitant to accept another check from you. So if you don't have the cash to pay them back, take your good check somewhere else to cash it, and use that money to pay back the store that you gave the bad check to.

  • the check i would cash is lower than the amount of the voided check, so i would still owe them $50. this leads me to my next question: what would happen if i didn't return the money to them? can i cash my legit check and ultimately get paid twice?? 🙏🏻🙏🏻😂😂 sorry for the grammatical errors and punctuation errors.
    – user60152
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 6:41
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    @user60152 Honestly, the fact that you would even ask such a question gives the impression you are not taking your situation as seriously as you should. You could very easily end up in jail for this, and frankly, you should be jailed if you don't pay the store back. Whether or not you intended the fraud is irrelevant. You defrauded the store when they paid you cash for your bad check, and you did not refund them.
    – heropup
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 7:13
  • 😂😂 just asking.. geez... and i've always have/had the intention of paying them back. they are good people. i just was pondering the hypothetical purely for stackversation sake
    – user60152
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 9:34
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    @user60152 you can ponder the hypotheticals in jail.
    – NuWin
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:27
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    @user60152 - "Stackversation"? This is not a conversation site. This is a question and answer site. You asked a question. You got an answer. Presenting more "hypotheticals" is against policy, and suggests that you're considering it, whether or not you label it "hypothetical".
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 21:12

As Pete B says, something is not adding up. If your story is correct you should still have the legitimate check from your employer. If that is the case, your solution is simple. You

  1. Immediately apologize to the liquor store and tell them you intend to repay them;
  2. Cash the legitimate check (somewhere else, like a bank)
  3. Once that has cleared, take the cash from that (and a bit more to cover the charges the liquor store had to pay) and give it to the liquor store to settle the debt. Make sure you get a receipt from them, and a statement that what you give them settles all debts.
  4. Find another place to cash future cheques.

If you do not have the good cheque then you are in deep trouble - because then either you didn't have it (in which case you have been lying to us) or you cashed it and spent the money (which means you knew that you had given the bad cheque to the liquor store). Either of those mean you have been deliberately perpetrating a fraud.

As for the consequences - be aware that passing a bad cheque is a crime, and if the store reports it as such, it is not unlikely that the police will want to investigate. If they decide you did this deliberately you could be arrested, and you might well end up in jail.

We will do you the favour of assuming that you still have the good cheque, and option 1 is possible.


The store owners don't know what your intentions are. All they know is they gave you good cash for a bad check.

Part of this is that you're paying for the bad acts of others in the past, and these people aren't in the business of trying to understand your intentions. If you show good faith by going in and paying whatever you can, it will go a long way toward getting them to work with you on the balance.

I don't know if they'd have much of a criminal case if the check you gave them was clearly marked as "void" and you've shown a willingness to resolve the situation. Of course you can't blame them for not wanting to accept another check from you. Good old hard cash, even if it isn't the full amount, will be a better sign of your intent to repay the debt.


Find a way to raise the cash needed to pay the store back, plus penalties. Be humble and apologetic. You have committed fraud. Depending on the amount, it may be a felony. Be an adult, settle the debt. If not, they have grounds to open a complaint with law enforcement. Your county jail probably has a number of residents who are paper hangers.


The bottom line is something in your story is not adding up.

You had two checks one that is voided, and one that is not. Lets say they are both written against your account for $100. Lets also assume that have exactly $100 in your account.

You give the Liquor Store the voided one, they give you $100, but when they attempt to cash the check at their bank they are denied and assessed a $20 fee. You spend the $100 they gave you; however, you still should have $100 in your account as the check was not cashed.

You want to make things right with the liquor store. You should be able to withdraw the $100 you still have in the bank and give them that much. While they will still be out the $20 fee, that should make them feel much better about you as a customer. Tell them when you will be paid and that you will give them the $20 on that date. Then do so.

The only way this problem is not solvable is that you spent the $100 that was left in the bank. In that case, the Liquor store is correct you stole the money. More accurately you spent money that wasn't yours.

  • 1
    "you still should have $100 in your account as the check was not cashed". No, these cheques were from his employer. But you are on the right track. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:02

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