How is an investigation for customer embezzlement carried out?

Client poaching is defined as a company unfairly capturing the customers of another company (confusing the competitor’s clientele, imitation, disparagement, violation of non-competition agreements by an employee).

Understanding Client Poaching

During their employment contract, employees are bound by loyalty and fidelity to their employer. This clause is often stipulated in the employment contract (non-compete clause). However, there are no specific laws or rules regarding client poaching, making it challenging to prove.

An employee who encourages clients to switch to a competitor is at fault because their actions go against the interests of the employing company and may result in the loss of some clients. If the spouse of the employee creates a competing business or if the employee themselves starts a business, it does not constitute valid evidence of client poaching unless a non-compete clause is clearly indicated.

Proving Client Poaching

Client poaching only leads to legal action if accompanied by material evidence (documents, files, documentation, or legal acts). Seeking the assistance of a detective can help uncover the evidence of client poaching. According to the principle of freedom of trade and industry, diverting a client from a competitor is not prohibited (, 18 Feb. 1969, Cass.Com. 10 Feb. 1987) because there is no proprietary right over clients. However, the means used to divert the clientele can be admissible evidence of fault, harm, and a link between the fault and the harm suffered.

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