A close and old friend of mine said he knew someone who wanted to hire me to make a computer program. This "someone" provided me with fake id and never paid me. I eventually traced my stolen program and found it was my friend who had been using it all along. My friend continues to deny his involvement and just keeps escalating things such as saying I hacked into his work computer to find out he was using the program and that he’s going to sue me for hacking. Actually my friend works at his dad’s company so he told his dad I hacked into their network and his dad called me. His dad seems to believe my side of the story but says he can’t really force his son to pay me (I have known his whole family for a very long time). My ex-friend also photo-shopped a contract with my signature on it to make it look like I agreed to something I hadn’t so he could resell the program.
I am extremely confused and upset. There are many parts of what happened that don’t add up, my friend is very wealthy and I know he could have paid. Even if he didn’t want to pay I would have done it for free but not prioritized it above work that I’m paid to do and I think he knew this.
I reported this to the police and they basically said it’s not worth the time, effort and money to go to court (though we are effectively my ex-friend did steal hundreds of dollars from me and had a fake identity to bully me around). The police advised me to stop contact with him and block him on social media.
We have/had the same group of friends and I believe he is trying to discredit me so they won’t believe me when I say he has refused to pay me. How should I talk to the people in this group of friends as I think it’s fair that they hear my side of the story? I recently red something about how it’s a problem in our society how people try to stay out of other’s people business when those ripping off people really should be held accountable and be known for their actions. Given the complexity of the scam, and how I found out it was him, I can't really "prove it" to the circle of friends, for example my ex-friend just says I didn't get paid because it had a virus, which isn't true.
What I want is for my other friends who know him not to believe the lies he is telling him and to make them aware he isn't to be trusted.