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Date First Reported: August 2011

Primary Name Associated: William Brock

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Several Ontario lawyers have received emails from the purported William Brock looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement with Trimar Steel (a real company whose name and contact details have been hijacked for this fraud). This is similar to other frauds of this kind we have seen. For a full description of how this fraud works and to see other names attached to it, see our Confirmed Fraud page that deals with business load frauds.

Here are some of the emails and supporting documentation received:

From: William Brock [email protected]
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2011 2:57 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Re: Legal Representation.

Dear Counsel,

I am seeking legal representation from your law firm regarding a breach of Loan agreement I had with my borrower. I need proper legal advice and assistance to know the best way to handle this issue. If this is your area of practice, please contact me to provide you with further Information.

Regards,

William Brock.

One lawyer who responded got this reply:

Dear Counsel,
Good day to you and thanks for responding to my email. Please pardon my late email response as my condition does not allow me to stay long on the computer. The consultation fee shouldn’t be a problem, kindly send me your firm fee / retainer agreement for my review and upon receipt and if OK, I will make immediate provision for the fee.

My full names are William Brock. I am a lender who lends companies and individuals funds on a fixed term to invest and in return pay back with interest. On January 5th, 2009, I lend Megaloid Laboratories Limited who is located in your jurisdiction the sum of $480.000.00 with interest on two years fixed term and to pay back January 5th, 2011.

There has not been any attorney working on this case. Different payment dates have been promised and I still have not received anything. I was advised to seek legal assistance in my borrower jurisdiction which is why I contacted you to act as my counsel in retrieving these funds. My last contact with my Borrower, I was told I would receive payment not later than Mid January 2011 and till now, nothing has been paid.

Kindly let me know what your fees would be in order for me to inform the company to expect contact from you as you have been authorized to act on my behalf. I would like to forward your details to them on your approval, so they know a law firm is representing me and I can sue for breach of agreement if they don’t keep their promise. I would like to give them this last chance to fulfill their obligations before we start legal proceeding.

Please do get back to me so I can furnish you with the required details to contact my borrower on my behalf as I know these companies respect law firms and do not want to be carried to court. Before we proceed, kindly forward your fee/retainer agreement for my review and if okay upon receipt, I will make immediate provision for the fee for you to begin work.

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation and understanding. Contact me should you require more information. I have attached here a copy of the Loan Agreement Promissory Note for your peruse. My borrower’s name is Megaloid Laboratories Limited.

Regards,

William Brock.


Click here to see a copy of the Loan Agreement

One lawyer then received, out of the blue, an uncertified cheque for $140,000 with the attached cover letter.

The lawyer did some research and was able to contact the local business (Trimar Steel) who’s name was being used in the scam. The proprietors indicated that they have had their names used in a previous fraud attempts. Subsequently, the lawyer’s office received followup emails and a call from the fraudsters indicating that they knew a cheque had been issued. The lawyer did not respond.

Another lawyer who received a cheque (note the different debtor name) was given the following intructions on how to disburse the funds.

How to handle a real or suspected fraud

If you have been targeted by any of these frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to [email protected]

If you suspect you are acting on a matter that might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). We will talk you through the common fraud scenarios we are seeing and help you spot red flags that may indicate you are being duped. This will help you ask appropriate questions of your client to determine if the matter is legitimate or not. If the matter you are acting on turns out to be a fraud and there is a potential claim, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.

For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.

Fraud Fact SheetMore fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page, including the Fraud Fact Sheet, a handy reference for lawyers and law firm staff that describes the common frauds and the red flags that can help identify them.