Love Fraud in the sick and twisted legal system, and the new law that may protect you

By Dr. Karin Huffer, Marriage and Family Therapist

Jan and I sat in our first of what was to be many sessions dealing with her victimization from love fraud, followed by a twisted legal path in her pursuit of justice. She sobbed, holding crumpled papers in her hands revealing stabbing deceit. Her husband had blown the money she provided to pay bills and now her credit was damaged, bills were not paid, and the money was gone. She now suffers in isolation. Her friends are weary of the story, and she is tired of “I told you so” and “I thought something was wrong with him.” Shame digs deep into her heart and soul. How could she have been such a fool and now be so hurt and helpless?

So familiar to me as a therapist is the undeserved shame internalized by mostly women, but some men, when they have been led into the beautiful world of romantic love. It is intimacy with a most charming, intelligent, person, connecting in that special way. The birds sing, the bells ring, and the future brightens. The hunger in all of us that songs sing about, poems are written about, is finally promised to be fulfilled.

Jan tried to deny her internal alarms, but could not placate her fear when signs of deceit began to underpin destruction of every shred of financial security, faith, a loving relationship, and hope. She was dumbstruck. Unwelcome truth rolled in on her revealing serious crimes committed, but they all were clouded in the legal quagmire of marriage or romance. Somehow romance blunts law enforcement and society’s response to criminal acts.

Once theft, fraud, lies, and a string of abuses were revealed, Jan was confident that the next step was to turn to the judicial system for relief. Having been an independent career woman, she was wounded, but strong with moral clarity at hand. She got a lawyer, reported the crimes, and began divorce proceedings. She firmly believed that criminal and civil courts exist to restore victims of crime and help to fairly disengage marriages that have gone wrong and punish the criminal. That was her frame of mind as she paid a retainer to a lawyer from meager funds. It would seem like the story would end soon after initiating legal action, with the con artist being held accountable and the traumatized victim feeling some sense of justice. My experience and intuition guides me toward a more skeptical view. I always hope for justice but learned long ago to shore up the clients with counseling to head off disappointments.

I immediately know that, regardless of her legal success or failure, Jan will be grieving losses while working on layers of healing from traumatic stress. My fears are realized as Jan embarks on her journey toward justice. Over time, Jan is devastated in every way imaginable. The sociopath lies and dominates the very institution, the judicial system, that exists to help victims like her. She is being twisted into an emotional pretzel with all sense of right, wrong, and civility thrown to the wind. She went from anger, to indignance to outrage to appealing to Congressmen and regulatory agencies. All advised they could not help her and to pursue her case. If she got a small win, the sociopath would beg for her forgiveness and to resume the relationship sometimes softening and weakening her resolve to win. Then she would be more angry at herself.

Finally, she reached a point beyond rage. It is a state of implosion, usually Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from protracted, consumptive, and cruel legal action. This type of PTSD is called Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), and is not a mental illness but an injury. This wound resulting from the lies, losses, and physiological injuries that are part of one human purposefully devastating another, followed by failure of the judicial system to timely, efficiently, and correctly administer justice. The court wound up being one more expensive burden that Jan supports financially, while the sociopath charms and pays a prestigious legal team with money stolen from her. He actually gains sympathy in the court sociopaths are masters at doing just that.

Before she suffers further, I know I have to suggest using protection from the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Legal Abuse Syndrome may be the only disability, or it may exacerbate other conditions. They all qualify for protection under this new law.

Under the ADAAA, Jan never has to be alone in court and is not to be demeaned in any way. Even though the injury is psychic and not visible, it is an injury covered by this law, just as if she needed a wheelchair.

The ADAAA’s intent is to ensure equal and fair access to legal proceedings in the face of the cruel treatment under the guise of “zealous representation” by the opposition and their legal teams. Jan’s dignity, respect, fair and equal treatment becomes my main goal as I help intervene in her court case. This is an outrage that needs to be exposed to the court in the perpetrator/victim context. It allows the victim to have special alterations to usual proceedings, ensuring equal footing with the sociopath.

If you need assistance contact these Legal Abuse Advocates in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide:

Dr. Karin Huffer, Marriage and Family Therapist

Bill Ronan, Psychotherapist and Certified ADA Advocate

Dr. Karin Huffer will offer a Certified Forensic Disability Specialist webinar beginning February 5, 2013. For information visit


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70 Comments on "Love Fraud in the sick and twisted legal system, and the new law that may protect you"

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I admire your strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. For some of us, it seems like this is the task that life has given us. (Are you a Capricorn by any chance? I am and life has been harsh!)

I don’t have the answer and there probably isn’t just one answer, but it seems to me that I need to let go of all the things that distract me from one purpose: figuring out wtf is going on that has kept me in this spath spiral for so long.

So, that’s been my focus, to study spaths and to study shame and how I’m involved in this. So far, I haven’t made my life any better, but at least I’ve gotten some understanding of where to search for answers!!

Imagine my life for 25 years, being poisoned by strychnine and not knowing WHY I was in so much pain! Then imagine me finding out what a spath is and learning that EVERYONE I’VE EVER LOVED IS A SPATH. That’s a huge clue! It’s frightening, but at least I know now.

I only mention this because I’m trying to inspire you to search deeper for something that might have been off your radar (as spaths were off mine).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to search for meaning. Meaning is beyond the material world and it might be different for each of us but it has to do with understanding your humanity.

Here’s a quote that may inspire you. I hope so, anyway:

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you, step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

”“ Joseph Campbell


My mother was/is bipolar and I was her power supply. She laid the groundwork for everything that has happened to me in my life. I’ve never been able to catch a break since the day I was born. It seems like the people close to me are the ones that have hurt me the most. After having so many bad experiences and not being able to figure out anything else, I’ve turned inward. A tragic thing, I used to be a social butterfly, loving everybody and loved by all — so long as we were not related. Life has hit me so many times and so hard and my only solution is to keep to myself. I no longer have friends or trust anyone. I don’t have the ability to survive in society. Sometimes, I go for entire weeks without seeing or speaking to anyone. I may as well live in a cave and become a hermit. Society is but a nuisance and a source of pain and anguish.

I’ve been looking for places (countries) to move to as I’ve reached the end of the line in the US too. And there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the world one can go to anymore. As big as the planet is yet we’re run out of space. The places are either depressed, dangerous and so poor than unless you’re rich, you wouldn’t be able to make it. Some of the places require that you invest as much as a quarter million before they let you in as a temporary resident. There truly is no place to go and at my age, it’s even worse. The doors are closing real fast. Giving up is so much easier.

you didn’t tell me your zodiac sign. I’m very curious.

I completely relate to what your mom did to you. My mother… i can’t even talk about her. SHE is the one thing that is keeping me stuck. She and my dad screwed me over before I was even born.

For some reason, I’m fated to love spaths who have perfect masks. These people continue to portray themselves as good and loving saints. Well, the spath has unmasked himself, though he tried to hide, but my parents… omg. It’s too hard to see past them.

Quantum, forget looking for other countries. Look inside, not outside. That’s where the answer is…I think.

here’s a youtube that might be helpful

I had to watch this in small bites. about 30 seconds at a time, then I had to assimilate it, then I took more time to watch it.


I don’t know if this will make you feel any better, but just very recently, I started feeling the same way. I feel like I want to move to Europe. I don’t feel like I belong in the US and I also wondered if that’s one reason (among many) that I fell so hard for spath because he is European.

Please hang in there. We are here for you. HUGS.

Hi, I joined this forum to learn and make sense of what had happened to me. And I have been. Reading the stories and chat you all share with such generosity Ive had so many ah ha moments (and laughs and tears).
One thing unexpected is that I feel so lucky- yes he took my money, trust in men and the world and for a short while my sanity, but he ended up being deported (he was here without a visa- another lie) and it ended.(Apart from all the internal stuff and the trail of bills in my name and ripped off friends and family)
Ive been so ashamed, felt so stupid. I don’t now, because I read your posts, you clever, courageous, strong, funny, smart, kind and loving people and I suddenly feel in good company.
Quantum your story and some of the others too, reads like a dreadful psychological horror film. I am in awe of your strength and resilience even just to keep breathing, you are truly amazing. Please know that from the other side of the world someone is wishing you comfort and the very best of things. As we say here arohanui (with love) and to the other people here too



Welcome to love fraud and glad you feel in good company, because you are., You are NOT alone. We’ve all been scammed, cheated and lied to…but we’re all standing up, or sometimes just crawling, but we are still alive and breathing. Keep on reading and learning and join the conversations. Again, welcome.

Ox Drover,

Thank you. Im 4 years spath free now, it takes awhile before you can look at it and start to make meaning doesn’t it? The first two years were just breathing and surviving, the last two have been slowly coming back to life. It took the longest time to see him for what he was because in doing so I had to see myself for what I was- that was hard (needy, lonely, foolish, soft, open) I must have been like a giant beacon! I don’t ever want to be at the mercy of that again………..
But like I say now I realise how incredibly lucky Ive been, he still emails my work email that Im the love of his life (and everything that’s gone wrong for him since is my fault) but he is several oceans away. I am safe.


I am glad to hear that. First it is about THEM, and then it must be about US…just as you have pointed out. We must acknowledge WY we allowed them to CONTINUE to abuse us.

I learned I had no or almost no boundaries with family and “friends.” and felt I had to keep everyone happy and be responsible for that.

I am still learning to set boundaries and to learn and HONOR the RED FLAGS in ALL relationships.

I realize that I must be totally honest with myself and with others as well and respect others and demand respect in return.

I also must get the bitterness out of my own heart, but that doesn’t mean I restore trust of those people. NO CONTACT with abusers and users and dishonest people.

I’m glad you found your way here to this community, there is support here.

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