There are so many problems to all this. First, there were previous misdemeanors in Oriental, dealt with lightly. Everyone was trying to be nice. However, the check thing was a very kind gesture but the extreme of naivety. Even after finding the check worthless he apparently trusted Pascal would make it good. Now, the local authorities refused to file a criminal claim because of the nature of the check. It was a third party check to Pascal, then endorsed to the store owner. It would have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Pascal knew the check was bad. For a small town district attorney to do that would be either impossible or very costly. They'd have to go back to the origin of the check or prove who printed it. So criminally you had no charge.
That brings us to the civil case. Step one is winning the case. But step two is effecting a judgment. Now a judgment allows enforcement against property. Still though an intervening step. In North Carolina
there has to be a right granted to exempt certain property. Now Pascal left before this was faced but had he remained he could well have filed to exempt the boat as his home and may or may not have won that aspect.
Now, however, he crossed state lines and maybe nation lines. Just crossing state lines he got into an entire different group of state laws. Let's say he was located, now you would need to get law enforcement or process servers in that state involved. Still nothing beyond that because it remains a civil case. Even if it was a criminal case, no state will expedite on a case this size but as a civil case they definitely won't. So now you have him located in another state and to enforce you have to go through processes there. Pascal knew exactly when to cut loose and leave. He knew just how hard he could press and when his freeloading ways would end.
He'd lied about how he got there and yet people tolerated and aided him. He's stolen from locals and that was tolerated. He's a con man, plain and simple. But then he got away. He is away. On the remote
possibility anything could be done it would cost more than the money involved and ultimately would reap nothing in return. The old line is you can't get blood from a turnip. Well, you can't get anything from a person like him. He's referred to in the legal
community as someone who is "Judgment Proof". Does he have assets in France
? I doubt it or he wouldn't be floundering around here in Primadonna but it doesn't matter because you're certainly not touching them. Well, unless now you want to engage a French detective and attorney.
No, none of this is right. Well meaning people encouraging his continued abuse of themselves and others wasn't right. Some had hearts too big and bigger than their minds in this instance. There was nothing whatsoever to make one reasonably think he had a legitimate check for that amount. Unfortunately, there are many who believe that if your bank cashes a check that means it's legitimate. That isn't true, of course. In many instances it just means they believe you're good for it, or they can get any lost
money back from you. This is how the so labeled "Nigerian Scam" works so effectively. Cash my check and just return me a portion of it. Generally it's either you won a lottery or an inheritance. And, unfortunately, in those cases people don't ever see their money again as the offenders are overseas and unable to be located.
Would I like him to be found? Absolutely, but primarily to warn others. However, based on Oriental I'm not even sure they would listen. Some would but he only needs a few kind hearted souls to give him food
, buy him parts
, cash checks. He should be arrested for remaining in the country beyond his visa illegally. But that involves costs for both arrest and containment. Then what is the penalty? Extradition. But, who pays to fly him home or is he simply put back on his boat and told to leave again?
There are those in all societies who have found ways to be just dishonest enough to get by with it. They aren't big time criminals but constant nuisances and draining to society. Look at those arrested dozens and even hundreds of times on petty crimes. They sometimes get incarcerated at government
expense, just adding more cost to dealing with them. Punishment serves as no determent as they don't mind time in jail. They are released and repeat the crimes. Typically they aren't jailed because of space and cost. So they continue to shoplift (as in this case) or panhandle or purse snatch or steal items from yards.
They are like fleas. They aren't life threatening but they are constantly annoying pests. I'm not talking in any of this about those who have fallen on hard times. I'm very liberal and in favor of providing assistance. But again, go to legitimate programs for help. Don't do petty crime and rob from those who are good hearted or naïve. The reality is that the Pascal's of the world will continue to do their thing. The merchant in Oriental is out his money. I don't know this merchant. I'm surprised locals haven't rallied to help him by seeking donations. Was he doing it all for nothing in return? I'd like to believe so but often for cashing checks like this the person cashing is getting a cut. I don't know more. What I do know is he can plea and create all the feel sorry story he wants, but he's not going to see this money again and if he keeps pursuing he'll only throw more money on top of what he's lost
. It's a very tough lesson. It's very sad. The reality sucks.