DELTONA, Fla. — Volusia County deputies said a Deltona man threatened and extorted a woman from the United Kingdom out of thousands of dollars.
Deputies said Christian Smith, 37, was taken to the Volusia County Jail on Tuesday and is facing charges of extortion and illegal use of credit cards.
The woman, who lives in South Wales, told deputies she had been talking with Smith online for years, but things changed after she told him she didn't want to date him.
The British woman said he was sending her threats through written notes and recorded videos at the beginning of last month.
Deputies said the woman claims Smith threatened her into paying him thousands of dollars.
The woman said their relationship was platonic for a while, but she says this year, they considered making it more romantic.
However, the victim told investigators she later changed her mind because she is married and wanted to make her marriage work.
At that time, the woman said Smith started threatening to send photos and videos to her husband, her family and her co-workers unless she sent him a large sum of money.
Deputies said because the victim was intimidated by the blackmail, she sent Smith more than $8,700.
The woman said she then decided to tell her husband what was going on and that allegedly prompted Smith to make threats against her husband, too, through audio messages and on social media.
Even though she paid Smith, investigators said the threats continued.
Deputies said Smith contacted a funeral business where the woman worked and filed false claims against her. The business opened an internal investigation over those claims and suspended the woman from her job.
Investigators said Smith also accessed the victim's credit card and charged an additional $2,000 on it.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Volusia Sheriff's Detective Paul via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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