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I have been involved in a sugar daddy relationship for a little while. He would send me money from Moneygram to Walmart from other people he was working with. I would then send most of the money to a bitcoin wallet. He asked me to make multiple bank accounts into which he makes transfers and the accounts are now frozen.

With all of this fraud with the bank accounts, I want out. But he says I have to pay him back thousands of dollars or he will call the cops or FBI on me. He has even said he would send people to kill me.

He has only given me about $2,000 through all of this. I have sent him back the majority of what he sends. I’m worried if I block him he will go through with his threats of calling the authorities. What should I do? Please help!

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    Does this answer your question? Sugar daddy scammer threatening with police
    – Nij
    Jan 22 at 6:42
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    Unrelated to the question, but perhaps you might want to anonymize your profile picture and username here by going to user preference and select "Edit profile".
    – Andrew T.
    Jan 22 at 8:17
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    Take the advice offered here, BUT - unless this post and email and account are fully non traceable, and that's not your photo - delete this post NOW and delete your account. You are saying things here which could incriminate you. Jan 22 at 12:29
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    Assuming you're in the US, I'd go with the FBI, rather than the police. This most likely crosses state lines, or national borders, so it's not in the purview of local police. Best case, you get a competent and decent police officer who directs you to the FBI. Worst case, you get an officer who needs to bump their numbers and sees you as an easy mark.
    – Dancrumb
    Jan 22 at 16:33
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    Get a lawyer, if your accounts are being frozen, someone has already noticed.
    – JimmyJames
    Jan 22 at 16:47

8 Answers 8

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I'm not an attorney, for proper legal advice and evaluation of your situation and risks you're exposed to you should talk to an attorney. I'm sure there's a legal aid or free public defender legal advice in your jurisdiction if you can't afford one.

Other answers suggest you've committed a crime. That may or may not be true, a lawyer can help you understand your situation better. If you have in fact committed a crime, going to the police may potentially backfire as others suggest. That said - if you feel at risk of physical harm (e.g.: you feel like their threat to send someone to hurt you may be real) then you should act quickly and ask for police protection.


My personal opinion:

When someone is bluffing - call their bluff.

You're being threatened and blackmailed - that's a crime. Go to the police. The scammer is trying to bully you and scare you by claiming that the law enforcement will come after you in order to deter you from going to the law enforcement.

You've realized you've been used to commit crimes and once you've realized that you decided to get out of the scam. That's the right thing to do. The FBI has much bigger fish to fry than you. In fact, the scammer is that much bigger fish they'd like to fry with your help.

So, turn his threats on him, go to the police.

In any case, disengage, stop communicating and responding, and do not cooperate with the scammer now that you've realized you've been used in a criminal activity. It will only get worse.

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    But definitely get a lawyer. While the police may want to fry bigger fish, they probably won't mind padding their numbers with some smaller ones, and without a lawyer, it's going to be hard to sort out what deals are actually absolving you of your crimes, and which have you signing a confession that they'll then use against you. Jan 22 at 14:40
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    Talk to a lawyer first before talking to law enforcement. If anything you've done is a crime, law enforcement may use you as leverage in a way that's not in your best interests, while a lawyer will act on your behalf to minimize your liability (which is compliicated for financial things like this) before FBI or police tries to use you and your sugar daddy against each other.
    – user117529
    Jan 22 at 19:07
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    @SeanDuggan, sugar babies don't generally have the financial resources to pay for a lawyer.
    – TonyK
    Jan 22 at 19:54
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    @TonyK: Yeah, but jail is expensive... not only lost income, but they'll charge you for the expense of jailing you. I suspect that even a small investment in a lawyer is going to pay off immensely. Jan 22 at 21:47
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    @SeanDuggan: Many people have to borrow money from family to pay for a lawyer. Many don't even have family to borrow money from. It looks like you don't belong in either of these categories.
    – TonyK
    Jan 22 at 23:53
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You have not been in a sugardaddy relationship. You've been a money mule assisting in laundering money.

First of all, this means he's a criminal. He won't call the cops on you, because that's essentially calling the cops on himself. Nor does he care about you, except as a money mule.

Second, the problem here is that what you've done is probably criminal as well; you've received stolen money and forwarded it in bitcoin. It's big enough sums that your accounts are frozen.

I don't flatly agree with other answers that you should go straight to the cops yourself. You should probably get a lawyer that can assist you - because you've done something criminal yourself.

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    Generally victims of a crime who inadvertently ended up assisting criminals are not punished for their situation and are rather encouraged to report and assist in persecuting the real criminals. That's how organized crime is being taken down, not by chasing down every last mule, but by figuring who's manipulating and controlling them. Of course talking to a lawyer is always good, but I wouldn't paint as bleak a picture for the OP as you're trying to paint.
    – littleadv
    Jan 22 at 4:56
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    If OP is concerned for her immediate physical safety, I don't think it is best to suggest that she get a lawyer first. I agree with @littleadv for the most part. Yes, OP has been involved in a money laundering scam but she asked us for help with some urgency. I also agree with you, that this is NOT a "sugar daddy scam". Jan 22 at 6:37
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    I know a lot say to talk to a lawyer but I don’t have the money to get a lawyer. Wish I never talked to this person ugh
    – Jennifer
    Jan 22 at 17:32
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    @JenniferBock Not getting a lawyer might very well be the more expensive option in the end.
    – Arno
    Jan 22 at 18:15
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    @Jennifer search for "legal aid" or "public defender" in your jurisdiction.
    – littleadv
    Jan 22 at 18:51
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You need to either go to your nearest police department or contact the FBI office in the city where you live. Choose whichever is closer or easier to get to.

If you are worried about getting the run-around at a busy police station, then call the FBI on the phone. They handle money laundering, bank fraud, extortion, and death threats.

Tomorrow is Monday. Call the FBI tomorrow morning. Tell them everything you have told us. They will help you and tell you what to do so that you can end this once and for all. Don't block the guy yet, but do NOT talk to him! No texts, no phone calls, no emails.

If you're really scared for your life, go to the police now even though it is Sunday.

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  1. It's not profitable for such scammers to actually carry out those threats, because they are likely messaging hundreds of others at the same time, and their time is more valuable to them if they use it to find new victims. They are doing this for profit, and it will not profit them to pay people to have you killed. Also, they are very likely in a completely different country.

  2. Beware of how blackmailing works and how it escalates. Once you have shown yourself to be open to fulfilling their demands under threat, the blackmailing will never stop. They have no reason to stop. Even if you send them those thousands of dollars, they have no reason to not ask for more and more. Also, blackmailers can rope in their victims gradually, by first tricking you into committing a small crime, and forcing you to commit a bigger one to buy their silence on the smaller one. And then use the threat of reporting that bigger crime in order to force you to commit an even bigger one. And so on, until you realize you would have never agreed to it if they demanded the latest one right at the beginning and you wished you were caught in the first one.

  3. If you want to become a sex worker, it's your personal choice, it's not our job here to judge you for it. However, keep in mind that a sugar daddy relationship means that he gives you money and you provide sexual services in return. No one will give you money without meeting you in person and without you performing such services. If you've never met, and he promises you money without you sleeping with him, then you're not in a sugar daddy relationship, you're just a victim of a scam.

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    3. Used as a money mule, not victim of a scam, as @vidarlo explains
    – breversa
    Jan 22 at 8:44
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    @breversa : the money mule is also a victim of the scam. Being a mule does not mean one cannot also be a victim at the same time. As soon as the original transfer is found out to be fraudulent or coming from stolen money or a hacked account, it is reversed, and the mule is in the negative.
    – vsz
    Jan 22 at 9:13
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    "It's not profitable for such scammers to actually carry out those threats...": if he is a business man that is relevant; what if he is a psycho? If I were in OP's shoes I would definitely get the police involved. Jan 22 at 9:20
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    @vsz "Or it ends when the victim runs out of money". Or it ends because someone has the courage to go to the police, and get one piece of human garbage taken out of circulation. Jan 23 at 1:02
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    While I agree with the vast majority of what you said, it's not unheard of for a sugar daddy to pay for online sexual services without meeting in person. (See also OnlyFans.) However, as you said, this is not described as a sugar daddy setup, it appears to be a simple money laundering scam.
    – arp
    Jan 23 at 3:40
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Talk to a lawyer, then your lawyer talks to the police.

I disagree with the other answers saying the police will go after the "bigger fish". They will go after whoever they can get convicted of a crime, and without a lawyer, you're a low-hanging fruit that they'll be happy to collect.

This will cost you money, but it is likely to spare you jail time. A lawyer can talk to the police in your name, but without incriminating you. Remember that everything you say to the police can and will be used against you.

You've been involved in a crime. It's unlikely that you can just walk away.

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    OP says that her accounts have already been frozen, so at the very least the anti-fraud department of the bank is already on the case. The police are likely going to have a chat with OP no matter what she does, lawyer or no lawyer. It might be beneficial to make the first step instead of waiting for them to come to OP. (I am not a lawyer, but not having the money for a lawyer is rarely an acceptable excuse for not reporting a crime.)
    – TooTea
    Jan 22 at 20:17
  • I disagree with the sentiment that the police will go after the small fish. Even if we ignore the fact that intent is required for a crime to exist and OP did NOT intend to be a money mule, so not a crime…. They're not actually interested in prosecuting someone like OP, they only tend to threaten prosecution to scare the person into cooperating sincerely and fully. If OP was charged, and stuck up for their rights and demanded a jury trial, some poor DA would have the ignominious job of getting 12 people to agree OP is a bad guy lol. The DA would not want or accept the case. Jan 23 at 23:35
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Your Scammer is Possibly a "Big Fish"

The "other people he was working with" probably aren't people he was "working" with.

They are probably people he has scammed.

According to Propublica, Moneygram and Walmart have been used to launder over a billion dollars over the last decade, most of which has been scammed out of elderly or gullible people.

Organized gangs steal the money and then farm out the laundering part to money-mules, which is what you did.

Your "daddy" has probably scammed vulnerable people out of money they can't afford to lose, is probably scamming / threatening other mules, and probably making a lot of money out of it.

The authorities would likely be very interested in any information you can give them. It would be a public service to put him behind bars.

Edit:

It's worth noting that the ProPublica article outlines OPs situation pretty much exactly - down to the death threats.

The only real difference is the charade about being a sugar daddy - the ProPublica example has money mules who seem to understand exactly what they are doing.

For what it's worth, the primary scammer in the article has been convicted and jailed.

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As others have said, you should talk to a lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but my amateur opinion is: From your account, I don't see that you've committed any crime. Maybe you've received stolen money. I don't know wherer you live, but most jurisdictions have a "scienter requirement" on crimes like that. It is not a crime to receive stolen property. It is a crime to KNOWINGLY receive stolen property. If someone steals, say, a cell phone and sells it on ebay and you buy it and you have no reasonable way to know that it was stolen, you have not committed a crime. If someone tells you, "Hey, I stole this cell phone and I'll sell it to you real cheap", then if you buy it you're committing a crime, because you knew it was stolen. Sometimes the law will say things like "knew or should have known". Willful ignorance won't save you. If someone offers to cell you a cell phone with a market value of $1000 and he's asking $25, and it has someone else's contact list on it, the courts will likely say that you had ample clues that it was stolen.

So all that said ... assuming the money he sent you was stolen or gained by fraud, if you didn't know that, if you thought he was giving you money because he liked you and wanted you to be his girlfriend, you probably haven't committed any crimes. If you knew it was stolen money, or had ample clues it was stolen money, different story.

His threats to report you to the police are probably hollow. He's clearly committed crimes. Your case is iffy. He's not going to report to the police that you were his accomplice in a crime. That would be reporting on himself. His threats to have you killed ... well, I don't know anything about him besides your brief description. Maybe that's a credible threat and maybe it's hot air.

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You could try just asking them something like "why did you call the authorities?!! I thought you said you just wanted to be paid back?? I can't believe you did that this could ruin my life."

He should think you are being watched by the police, and will probably distance himself from you from then on.

Then change your phone number and delete his from your phone.

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    Trying to trick someone who likely has one or two decades more experience in tricking people - what could possibly go wrong?
    – Tom
    Jan 23 at 8:27

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