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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I have a two-part question. #1 I made investment advice

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I have a two-part question.

#1 I made investment advice to an employee 15 years ago and it had admittedly dismal results. She is now wanting to claim I "took" her money even though I never touched her funds (other than to make advisement advice for her) In essence she deposited her funds in a Schwab Account and I made the investments on her behalf. How liable am I for investment advice over 15 years ago? This is the first I've heard that she thought I took it.

#2 She has now threatened me that if I didn't pay her back her lost funds, she would inform my church, employer and friends of the "affair" we had and that I took advantage of her. She was actually the one who started the "affair" and I have confessed it to my wife, but not to anyone else. As you can will imagine, this would not be a happy revelation after 15 years. The company we were at is no longer in existence and she is gainfully employed in a very nice job at a Fortune 500 company.
Further, her "funds" came about through Federal Student Loans. The company actually paid her Graduate School fees for her and she didn't need the funds in the first place. Another claim is that she wouldn't have taken out the loan if I hadn't recommended her do so. It's strange how time clouds people's memories.

Is this blackmail?
Is it past the statute of limitations because no claims have ever been filed?
Is she putting herself into a libel position by taking private information to others with the intent to harm?

Help!
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

Are you licensed to given investment advice or make investments on behalf of others?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I am not


 

It is potentially a felony to offer investment advice without being a registered investment adviser in the the State of Texas.

However, the statute of limitations is 5 years on this offense, so any potential criminal liability on your part is long past.

In regard to her personal claims, she could have potentially brought a fraud or negligence claim against you. However, the statute of limitations on these potential civil claims has also long past. Thus, she has no valid claim against you.

On your second question, her threats to expose embarrassing information about you unless you pay her money is criminal extortion. You may report her to the police for this, and she could be arrested on felony attempt charges.

In regard to your question on libel, in Texas libel and slander are unified under the tort of defamation. A claim for defamation only lies where the statement which is the subject of the defamation claim is untrue. Thus, the only portion of her threatened statement which could be defamation is that you "took advantage of her." Thus, you could potentially make a claim against her for defamation if she were to publish or state this false information to any third party. You can also sue her civilly for extortion under Texas law.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Outstanding and timely YOu've given me much to ponder. I made some bad decisions in that time period of my life and obviously regret them. She can make it worse for me by taking this position of trying to extort funds from me.


Hopefully I can head it off.

I'm glad to be of service. Let me know if you need anything else and please remember to rate my answer!

-ZDN
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