|You're not going to get your laptop back. It's unfortunate your naivity (and innocence, I suppose) has gotten the better of you.
You have to realize that the FBI aren't going to do anything. You stating it in this forum will not scare him into sending you anything, and that's the unfortunate part. He's just some guy who has had a bad life who doesn't have the capability to empathize with your situation.
I mean, legally speaking, is there even any proof that you didn't send it to him as a gift? I doubt e-mails are a valid contract. And you're going to need to dish out money and sue him in HIS county and state in order to do this. To sue him there you need to have someone submit the claim and also serve it to him, which will cost money as well.
You have to realize that there is no way, whatsoever, of:
1. Scaring him into returning it without immediate threat to his physical self
2. Tapping into his morality in the hopes that he will let go of 2000 dollars worth of free stuff.
if I were you, I would find out where he lives through his IP, phone information, e-mail routing, and any other info you can get. Even the delivery address added to this should give you a pretty good idea of where this guy is. Then I would basically either show up there (with a bat).
I would recommend against warning him beforeyou show up with a bat, due to point #1.
If it's 2000, it's worth the trip. And if you ask me, I would thoroughly enjoy finding a scammer. In fact, it would have been worth him doing it just so I could show up at his front door.
Sheez...don't let him scare you!
valid contracts. Even verbal contracts are valid. Paper and digital mediums just provide better proof of what was agreed upon. Also for 2000$ you can go to small claims court, hardly a budget busting option. Keep in mind that this isn't immediate though. I sued an employer for someone else (I'm a graduate law student which is why I always think of the legal aid departments..
) through small claims court. 6000$, it took about a year to get. Contracts were through email. Costs were a little less than 200$. Delays and costs will vary depending on the location you're at but I imagine it'll be surprisingly long pretty much everywhere.
Despite the fact that it sounds very manly to say "Show up there with a baseball bat!", how many will really do this? If you do you're likely to get sued yourself in excess of the 2000$ worth of your computer as well as faced with criminal charges which not only entails possible jail time but also lurks on your curriculum for an annoyingly long time.
Gather all your evidence, including emails, ups shipping numbers, etc Then make a list of what the emails say in a chronological order so you can easily reference each email when asked about this and that. What you've REALLY got to do is find the real Jeremy. You shipped the computer somewhere right? Where? His home? If its a P.O. Box or holding service then...oh well...good luck and perseverance might work. Maybe you can contact his IP though they're often reluctant to divulge any information.
Breathe...write off the money for now, if you get it its a bonus. You'll be much happier if you just try to live your life and think of this as an aside than if you make this your main goal in life. Hard, I know...