How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35875
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
19958803
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My brother is threatening to file a criminal complaint

Customer Question

My brother is threatening to file a criminal complaint against me if I don't agree to his buyout terms of a shared trust property that was left to me and my three siblings. His accusations are frivolous and he knows it, but trying to use it as a scare tactic to get us to agree to his very unreasonable buyout demand. This threat seems to rise to the level of extortion, and at least harassment. Any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes and ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

What would he be filing a criminal complaint based on?

.

" to use it as a scare tactic to get us to agree to"... Who is "us"?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Claiming that I embezzled money from a trust account that includes for beneficiaries even though I have provided him proof that I did not. He wants us ( myself and two other siblings) to buy out his share of the trust under his own terms without compromise or negotiation
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, it would be considered extortion or blackmail for him to threaten this under Michigan law and that is a felony..

.

Michigan Penal Code 750.213 Malicious threats to extort money.

Sec. 213.

Malicious threats to extort money—Any person who shall, either orally or by a written or printed communication, maliciously threaten to accuse another of any crime or offense, or shall orally or by any written or printed communication maliciously threaten any injury to the person or property or mother, father, husband, wife or child of another with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do or refrain from doing any act against his will, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than 10,000 dollars.

.

.

So I would tell brother that by his mere actions in threatening this, he has committed a felony and you will be talking to the local District Attorney about it in the near future...

.

That should scare the pants off of him and make him scramble around to apologize to you...

.

If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Here is an excerpt from just one of his threatening emails:

This route will allow you and Scott to avoid multiple criminal charges as well as potentially civil charges and of course extraordinary legal costs. You should crunch some numbers before you make your decision. You will have 2 days to review the proposal and accept and 10 days from the date of acceptance for the 3 of you to make it final including my receipt of total payment due...
If you don't accept the proposal, I will give you the courtesy of a 24 hour notice before I contact the authorities so you can get your ducks in order, etc.

 

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Yep, looks like criminal extortion to me if you aren't guilty of any type of criminal action..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hypothetically, even if I was guilty which I am absolutely convinced I am not, according to the Michigan Penal Code would this still not be extortion?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I don't think so..because the clear part is "maliciously threaten to accuse another of any crime or offense". Accuse implies that it is baseless and without merit. If the person is "reporting" a crime, then that would likely be considered outside the boundaries of this law.

.

So it depends on whether the accusation/report is valid or not..

.

But DA's are always very reluctant to try to pursue things like this because any beneficiary can file a civil suit to get the case into court rather than going through the criminal courts even if it was alleged/reported.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would this and the other dozens of similar emails threatening and harassing me rise to the level of harassment?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Potentially... Harassment is typically defined as a course of conduct with no legitimate purpose designed to irritate, disturb or annoy the victim.

.

But again, DAs are reluctant to pursue something like this in a criminal manner simply because they have bigger fish to fry and limited resources to pursue them..

,

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is the legal definition in a trust of "sold and distributed" the same as just the word "distributed"?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I would have to say no, because assets in a trust can be distributed to a beneficiary by simply transferring them to the beneficiary. That doesn't necessarily mean that the asset is sold first.

.

If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

.

.

thanks much

Barrister

Related Criminal Law Questions