Restitution is a right of victims that allows for the recovery of benefit that the criminal gained from the victim.  This is the opposite of compensation where the criminal reimburses the victim for any losses incurred through their actions.  restitution is common in civil cases, although it may also be ordered in criminal cases is the criminal reaps a financial benefit from the victim due to the commission of the crime.
When is restitution common?
Any time a fiduciary duty between two persons is breached, the victim may receive restitution as the other person usually benefits financially as a result of the breach.  The victim in this white collar crime then has a right to restitution, in addition to possible criminal penalties.
What is an example of a breach of a fiduciary duty?
The relationship between a financial advisor and client will generally constitute a fiduciary duty.  The advisor may not benefit off the client unless specifically allowed to do so through written or other agreements.  If one member of party works against the best interests of the other, then the victimized party can seek restitution in court to recover the gains accrued by the other party.
How does restitution work?
The court will order restitution when appropriate and the criminal will be liable to pay the victim any gains through the criminal activity.  If sufficient funds do not exist, liens may be placed against their property or wages and other benefits may be garnished.  The restitution obligation is considered a debt to the victim and will impact their credit worthiness for the failure to pay restitution, as ordered by the courts.




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