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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26420
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My 20 year old son used his fathers name to open credit

Customer Question

My 20 year old son used his fathers name to open credit cards which he then racked up huge debt in one week. He has bipolar disorder and is under psychiatric care. Can my husband dispute the charges and recoup the money without getting his son in trouble? Is there anyway to get this money back? All charges and any authorizations he made to the bank (some overseas charges he got bank to OK) were fraudulent.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Unfortunately, there is no way he can report these charges as unauthorized without subjecting his son to prosecution. His credit card company will want him to file a police report and his son's activities will be revealed. The police would then turn the file over to the prosecutor for further action.

So he has two choices. The first is to report the crime and the bank and the police will hold your son accountable for his theft. The second is not to report it but to negotiate with your son and set up a plan where he can repay your husband the money he stole.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There is no extra action we can take considering he is under treatment for Bipolar Disorder?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

If your husband reports this and charges get pressed, your son's lawyer can make the authorities aware of his mental condition as part of his defense to the charges. Alternatively, most states have mental health courts which are special court programs for defendants with various mental and emotional disorders whereby they can work their convictions off of their record by getting treatment for their conditions while also addressing and trying to modify trigger situtations that would lead to criminal activity.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It turns out he was gambling illegally online. Is it even legal for the banks/credit cards to pay online casinos? The charges are from "merchants". One they call "rugs pro". For example. It all looks like he purchased items, which clearly we never received anything. Can't I chargeback all this money through the fraud dept at my bank? How can a casino prove or how do I have to prove it wasn't me sending them documentation and copies of my credit cards and ID. He even breached my email and was using my phone. Apparently had his girlfriend "be me". This is a real
Mess. I'd like to get my credit card and bank to investigate this as it can't be legal. However I do t want to confirm my son did as I want to protect him from any liability. Can I not just say someone in my household used my information for unauthorized charges to overseas casinos? This is a real mess but I'd like my money back. It's over 11k at this point. Will casinos fight my banks and declare it was me? How do I prove otherwise?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

If you don't want to implicate your son, you ought to absorb the loss and make a contract with your son for him to repay you. Then you can take him to small claims court if he defaults on the contract.

By telling the bank that it had to have been someone in the household but you are not sure who, they may deny you the claim. In any case, the police can still investigate and it can still affect your son.

Online gambling is illegal in the US, but these casinos operate from offshore and they are not bound by US law. Will the casinos pursue you if you reverse the charges? Very possibly.

You prove it wasn't you by giving up the person you know committed the crime. If you're not willing to do that, you can't have your cake and eat it too.