A: Please be aware that starting your own business inside the United States will require employment authorization, which does not automatically come when some is on an F-1 visa. While there are certain circumstances where you can obtain work authorization while on F-1, that is a separate process that needs to be applied for and approved. I would be very careful not to violate the terms of your current F-1 status by starting a business.
You will likely need to speak with an immigration attorney to see what the best way for you to maintain your lawful status while still getting you where you want to go.
A: Yes, they can absolutely be charged. However, the real question will be whether they will be convicted. It sounds like you may have a strong case. I would recommend you contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.