Tomball, TX asked in Criminal Law, Municipal Law and Small Claims for Texas

Q: What kind of crime is it when someone fails to deliver the agreed paid goods and are holding them hostage?

The question above is relating to two people, one is the seller withholding information and the items purchased and the other is the buyer being lied to and cohearce into helping the seller to pay for their bills and will not deliver the paid goods unless paid otherwise. Is this extorsion, can you report it to law enforcement to have the goods delivered or have the money returned?

2 Lawyer Answers
Penny Wymyczak-White
PREMIUM
Penny Wymyczak-White
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If goods are paid for and not delivered it is theft. Make a police report.

1 user found this answer helpful

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Law enforcement might refuse to get involved because it is NOT a crime unless there is reason to believe that the seller already had the INTENT to keep the money without delivering the goods AT THE MOMENT the money changed hands. Basically, a scam.

On the other hand, if the seller did not form that intent until after accepting the funds then this is a matter that belongs in CIVIL court rather than criminal court. Basically, a contractual dispute. In other words, the seller can be sued for the lost money but not convicted of a crime.

Bottom line: If you want to get the cops involved, be prepared to explain why you think the seller never intended to deliver. A good example would be if you have other unrelated people who are willing to testify that they were also scammed in a similar manner by the seller.

1 user found this answer helpful

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