Hi,I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. how long ago did all this happen?
I was hoping to get a bit more information, but I will give you a response now. If you have further questions about my answer, you can post a reply when you're back on line, and I can clarify or amend my answer.
If you can get the authorities interested in prosecuting this person, you don't need a lawyer. The state or the Federal government will represent your interests in court, and they do that for free.
You would need to go to the police and/or to the FBI and make out a report, letting them know that this thief ran off with your money and that you would like him prosecuted. Law enforcement has the tools and staff to be able to try and find this person, while the only way you could do this would be to hire a private investigator, for which you don't have money.
Even though this makes out fraud, it is entirely possible that the criminal justice authorities will tell you that because you gave him the money voluntarily and because he did for a while pay you back, this matter should be handled in civil court.
If the state and Federal government refuse to investigate and bring charges against this person, you are not going to be able to avail yourself of the criminal justice system to get your funds back. Nobody, not even the President of the United States himself, can make a prosecutor take on a matter that they do not wish to pursue.
That would mean you'd have to sue him to get justice, and because the funds are too substantial for small claims court, you'd have to retain a lawyer and sue him in civil court.
There are lawyers who will take a case on contingency. That is, you pay for only their filing fees and up front expenses but they defer their actual fees until they win your case. If they lose it, you will pay nothing. So you can get some free or inexpensive initial consultations with some civil trial lawyers with general practices and see if they might take your matter on contingency.
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.