Did I break a federal law and can he fine me like he's trying to?

Asked 7 months ago - Chico, CA

I recently posted saying I was on a tutoring website for military families claiming I was in active duty. I did this for the sole purpose of getting the tutor site for free, so I could get help on my math HW. However, to end the chat because I was bored, I said "My base is under attack and i'm shot!" and disconnected.

Now for the past couple of weeks, the legal guy at the website has been emailing me and my mother about this matter. He said on the phone that the case was *CLOSED* but a couple days later, he emailed my mother demanding a fine of $600 for "stealing" from military families.

Is this extortion? My mother keeps saying it is, but i don't know. Can he do this? He says if it's not resolved right away he will take legal action and increase the fine. Is this legal?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Pardis Patrick Ashouri

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Doesn't sound straight forward. Government fines if any do not come by email first of all. You would has a visit by the authorities and likely a formal letter. So before you pay anything have the matter investigated. And stop posting potential self incriminating statements on a public forum such as this. consult with an attorney to make sure you are not being scammed. Good luck.

    In addition to AVVO's disclaimer, please note that by this answer no attorney client relationship is intended mor... more
  2. Michael Kevin Cernyar


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First and foremost, who are you speaking to? Not everyone can fine you. There is no legal guy at a website that I know of that can fine you. Ask him to send you the citation and you will pay. When you get the citation, forget about paying until you take it to an attorney to verify whether its real. Good luck.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more
  3. Dana Howard Shultz

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The "fine" is BS. I suspect that the website owner is angry and is trying to scare you.

    I hope that you have learned a lesson and that, in the future, you will not misrepresent yourself or otherwise lie in you online activities.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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