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Can I be prosecuted for fraud?

Kansas City, MO |

I was involved in an extramarital affair. During the affair, the man took 1000 dollars off a credit card for me. He also gave me all the credit card info (number, security code, zip code) in an email, to buy things online. Because one of the purchases was large, he even called the company to authorize the purchase before they would ship it. During this time, we did say that I would pay him back when I could. We never discussed how much I was allowed to charge, but he never asked me to stop, and we both have made min. payments. Now, we are not seeing each other. I want to make payments to him, but he says if I don't pay him the full amount (1800 dollars) now, he will call the card company and report it as fraud and get police involved. Can he do this? I have all correspondence from him.

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Attorney answers 1


lawsuits involving authorized users and joint account holders are common AND NOT ABOUT CRIMES.

What he is doing is called blackmail, shakedown, outwresting, and exaction and is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force,[1] but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.[2]

Extortion is distinguished from robbery. In armed robbery, the offender takes goods from the victim with use of immediate force. In robbery goods are taken or an attempt is made to take the goods against the will of another—with or without force. A bank robbery or extortion of a bank can be committed by a letter handed by the criminal to the teller. In extortion, the victim is threatened to hand over goods, or else damage to their reputation or other harm or violence against them may occur. Under federal law extortion can be committed with or without the use of force and with or without the use of a weapon. A key difference is that extortion always involves a written or verbal threat whereas robbery can occur without any verbal or written threat.

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