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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12573
Experience:  Attorney
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I went on a trip (that i couldnt have afforded on my own)

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I went on a trip (that i couldn't have afforded on my own) with an ex boyfriend who promised to pay for the entire trip, but then I got stuck putting $3K in travel expenses on my credit card which he promised to pay back (and i have in writing). of course, now he won't pay even though i have asked him several times. he knows i can't afford this kind of expense and he can, but now he is dragging his heels about repaying me (i believe to control me). so i told him i would have to take him to small claims court if he wouldnt pay by a certain day. now he is claiming he will tell my bosses some secrets about me that will ruin my job if i go to small claims court. is this extortion?

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. In which state did this occur?

Customer:

california

Brandon M. :

Thank you. Do we know what secrets he plans to tell?

Customer:

yes. basically that we have had a relationship while we have been working together, for different companies. and he is married. i'm pretty sure my bosses would frown on it as it would reflect poorly on my judgement

Customer:

and he has threatened to tell my bosses things i have told him about them in private (typical boss type venting)

Brandon M. :

Thank you. Extortion occurs most any time that someone says "give me something of value, or else..." It is codified in California under Penal Code section 518. Penal Code sections 518 and 519 read as follows:

Brandon M. :

518. Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right. 519. Fear, such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat, either: 1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened or of a third person; or, 2. To accuse the individual threatened, or any relative of his, or member of his family, of any crime; or, 3. To expose, or to impute to him or them any deformity, disgrace or crime; or, 4. To expose any secret affecting him or them.


 

Customer:

right. so is his keeping my money similar to 'obtaining of property from another'?

Brandon M. :

It is technically "attempted" extortion if the victim does not consent, but attempted extortion is prosecuted with the same penalties as extortion itself.

Brandon M. :

Yes. Basically, he's demanding that he keeps the money and threatening you with disgrace you if you don't comply.

Brandon M. :

In a best case scenario, it would only be embezzlement.

Brandon M. :

I apologize... I meant fraud, not embezzlement.

Customer:

thanks...i was trying to figure that out!

Brandon M. :

That's why I'm here.

Brandon M. :

Did you have any other question?

Customer:

nope. that was it. thank you.

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