A Florida man accused of trying to extort a Daytona car dealership for money and a new car came up with an interest strategy to fight the charges against him – decline to file criminal charges against himself.
Christian E. Mosco, 47, was initially arrested on extortion charges after he allegedly emailed a man named Glenn Ritchey, who owned a branch of Jon Hall Chevrolet, a franchised car dealership. In an email to Ritchey, Mosco wrote that he’d managed to obtain two years worth of customer sales information from Ritchey’s dealership and if he did not pay Mosco, he would “promptly publish to all local media the fact that Jon Hall Chevrolet has allowed their customers private identity information to be tossed to the curb per se.”
Mosco wrote in the email that he believed publishing the information would “devastate Mr. Ritchey’s future business” as well as “expose Mr. Ritchey to a class action lawsuit that would certainly cost him millions of dollars.” He wrote that he’d be willing to sign a nondisclosure agreement with the dealership if he got the money and a 2019 Chevy Malibu. Ritchey’s assistant wrote back, instructing him to bring the documents to an attorney’s office, where the trade would be made.
The sales information was believed to contain customers’ personal information, including social security numbers and birthdates.
However, instead of a check and keys to a brand new Chevrolet, Mosco found himself under arrest and facing charges of extortion. Ritchey had apparently turned the emails over to police who intercepted Mosco at the attorney’s office. Mosco had two cardboard boxes filled with sales orders from the dealership – information Ritchey believes was stolen. Mosco was charged with petty theft, extortion and burglary.
Then, on Sept. 26, an “announcement of no information” was added to Mosco’s case file. An announcement of no information means prosecutors have decided to file charges against someone. But, Mosco’s alleged scheme did not go unnoticed. An employee at the Volusia County Clerk’s office saw the filing in Mosco’s case and became suspicious because prosecutors had already filed “an information” against the suspect. The clerk alerted prosecutors to the error and an investigation began.
Authorities said that Mosco used the names and Florida Bar numbers of two prosecutors to file the fraudulent “no information,” document, the charging affidavit states. Mosco reportedly used a copy of a “no information” from someone else’s case and altered the document for his own. Then, Mosco digitally filed the documents using Florida’s E-Filing portal for its court system.
Mosco is now facing seven additional felony charges, including: falsely impersonating a prosecutor, a second degree felony; practicing law without authority, a third-degree felony; two counts of fraudulent use of identification, a third-degree felony; fraudulently acting as a state attorney, a third-degree felony and uttering a forgery in the form of a fake no information, a third-degree felony.
Officials say changes have been made to the system Mosco used to file the false documents and future would-be prosecutors would not be able to pull off the same trick again.