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Date First Reported: July 2011

Primary Name Associated: Tom Paplia

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

We have heard from over 100 lawyers in Canada and the U.S. who are being contacted with regards to a commercial debt collection by Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp. This fraud was first reported to us in March of 2011 and has been reported to us more than 60 times by lawyers from across Canada and the US, and a few other countries as well. The names associated with this scam are Mark Branson and Tom Paplia. A contact in B.C. was initiated by a phone call. In February an Ontario lawyer was contacted through LinkedIn.

It is similar in nature to attempted frauds we’ve seen under the names Anita Khan, Mark Rudic and Richard Abramovic.

For full details on how this kind of fraud works see our Fraud Fact Sheet.

Here is are examples of the intitial contact emails on these frauds. This is a shorter version that we saw in late December:


From: Tom Paplia
To: [email protected]
Sent: Fri Dec 23 0:23
Subject: Immediate legal representation

Attention Sir/Madam ,We have cases of delayed payments in your county, requiring
immediate legal attention. Please confirm your firm’s availability for new client
intake.
Tom Paplia
Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp.,
Glendale Street,
Glendale, CA 91204USA

This is the longer version we say earlier in the year:

From: Tom Paplia
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 4:23 PM
Subject: Legal Inquiry

Attention Sir/Madam,

We have cases of over delayed payments in your county, requiring immediate legal attention. Please confirm your firm’s availability for new client intake.

Tom Paplia
Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp.,
Glendale Street,
Glendale, CA 91204
USA

Here is a follow-up received by a lawyer who replied to the initial email:

From: [email protected]
Sent: July 11, 2011 1:37 PM
To: Lawyer’s Name
Subject: Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp/Legal Requirement

Attention:
Mr. Tom Paplia, has brought to my attention the interest of your firm to review our request. Briefly, the Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp., is a sales and leasing company based in Glendale California, with a vast range of products and wide clientele base. We have an urgent case of over delayed payment in your jurisdiction, of which we require an immediate legal service.

We do appreciate your time in reviewing our request. We have a numbered cases of delayed payment within your jurisdiction and having made series of effort via telephone conversation to collect these monies owed, with no success, we write to seek your legal advice and possible representation in this regards.

We have resolved that the 5 accounts be taken on a case by case basis, and in order for your firm to advise and let us know of the possibilities of representing us, we provide below for the purpose of conflict check, and better understanding, the name of one of the clients owing as well as other details concerning the matter at hand. Please see client information below:

J S W Manufacturing Inc –
1091 Manitoba, Bracebridge, ON, P1L1T8

On the 15th of December 2009, the purchase and delivery of industrial equipment and tools, was made by the above named client, to the tune of $663,649.50, of which a down payment of $150,000 was made, with an agreement to spread the remaining balance of $513,649.50, within six [6] month from the date of the first down payment of $150,000 already made. This balance payment is now long overdue as our regular sales agreement was for the balance to be spread within six month from the day of delivery of good to them of which it was agreed and that the balance payment must be made payable not exceeding June 2010, or legal actions may be enforced. According to our agreement this client is more than 7 months late on payment as delivery was received and confirmed in good condition since 15th of December 2009.

It is our belief that once the presence of Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp., is established in your state by a legal representative, your firm, if retained, our client will have no option than to comply with settlement request to avoid legal actions. We believe that a normal procedure would be for you to contact our client either by a phone call or demand letter if your services is retained. Due to the fact that we hold most of our client in high esteem and wish to keep our business relationship with them, litigation is perhaps the last option to consider, though we would like the comfort of knowing that the option is available and letting our client know that litigation may be enforced if it becomes necessary.

As a result of immense pressure from our Associate office in Asia, concerning this debt owed; being the fact that the said funds was meant to have been remitted over to them long before now for further business requirements from Asia, we have decided to bring to the notice of the board, that we have already initiated legal step, and in this regards, would find it very helpful if we could receive your standard retainer agreement for review. This will enable me present your retainer agreement to the board for review, and the possibility of retaining your firms services, in order for us to proceed further.The board would like to have it reviewed before your services is retained

We are grateful for your anticipated services and we look forward to a prompt reply from you.

Faithfully,

Mark Branson
Sales Executive
Glendale Truck & Equipment Corp
Glendale Street,
Glendale, CA 91204
USA

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 Sheet More 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.