I would like to seek your legal expertise based on the facts below.
1. I am an independent contractor who works in the Philippines yet had a client in the US.
2. We had no legal contract between the both of us. I tried to get him to make one so that everything will be legal, but he refused.
3. After a month of work, my boss decided to purchase a piece of equipment for me. It was an item that he thought I needed in order to work. I initially informed him to think twice about sending the money for said item because I was not comfortable handling that amount ($1000) but he insisted. I also told him proactively, prior to him sending the funds, that I was willing to make a payment plan for said item, but he refused several times. His words were "You do not owe me anything". I have our complete conversations recorded in chat transcripts and emails.
4. One day on my way to the province I informed boss that I would have limited access to work because I was travelling. I continued working through emails and chats, I was merely unable to take a phone call from him because it would require me to bring out my laptop in a public bus and I was not comfortable doing that.
5. He got mad at me for missing work on that day. Sent me messages saying I have stolen his property. I tried to talk to him but he said he refused to speak to me until I paid back the amount of the property he sent to me.
6. I tried to continue to work on the next few days, in case he changed his mind (he is prone to having temper tantrums). I even sent him progress reports of what I was working on. After 2 days of the incident, he locked me out of all my work accounts and again sent me threatening messages saying he will report me to the authorities here in the Philippines.
At this point I was very confused because he repeatedly told me not to contact him and then a few days later he was sending emails to everyone I know accusing me of stealing the money which I initially thought he sent freely because of his prior reassurances. In my last emails to him I specifically told him I would be willing to repay the amount on a monthly basis as soon as I have money. Unfortunately, he only wants me to work for him again as payment and I refuse to do so as I have witnesses first hand how he abuses his employees, myself included.
My question is this:
If he is in the US and I am in the Philippines, what actions can he take against me? He mentioned in his email that he will call for "Qualified Theft" as the property in question is more than P22,000 in value ($1000).
What can I do in the meantime? Am I liable for QT regardless if I have evidence he said I did not owe him anything? Can he still press charges from the US and accuse me of such even if I already proposed paying it off bit by bit?
I have never been charged of a crime before. What will happen to me? Will I be subpoenaed first? Or will the police come for me? I just don't want to embarrass my family.
At this point I just feel like he is bullying me for what little dignity I have. I tried to settle this amicably but his continuous emails have been nothing more than harassment that I have stopped communicating for 2 weeks now.
Any advice will be appreciated.