A man has been jailed on terrorism charges after a heated argument over car insurance allegedly escalated into death threats.
Charles Papenfus, from Ohio, was angered by a letter sent to his family from a firm warning that their car warranty had expired.
When the 43-year-old phoned to complain about the marketing ploy an argument ensued, leading to alleged threats to burn the company down and kill its employees.
It resulted in charges of making a terrorist threat being issued against Mr Papenfus.
He was put behind bars last month after failing to come up with the $45,000 bail (£27,000). The bond has since been reduced to $5,000.
Automated phone calls and mailshots warning of expired factory warranties on cars are common in the US, even if the recipient does not own a vehicle.
In Mr Papenfus’ case, the family did own a car.
But the Ford Taurus was purchased second-hand and never had a factory warranty.
Douglas Forsyth, Mr Papenfus’ lawyer, said both parties on the telephone insulted each other, with a telesales person calling the would-be client names after being accused of running a scam.
Nonetheless, Mr Papenfus was arrested last month and put behind bars in St Louis, home of the car warranty firm TXEN Partners, ahead of a trial.
His wife Tracie said: “He shouldn’t have mouthed off on the phone, but this is overkill.
“He’s not a criminal. They make it sound like he is a terrorist, and he’s far from it.”
via Car Insurance Row Ends In Terror Charges – Yahoo! News UK.
My vote would be that they put the scam company owners in jail and laugh out of town anyone who can’t tell a personal threat apart from a terrorist threat.