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Date First Reported: May 2013

Primary Name Associated: Micheal Alghun

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

[Updated August 2013]

A dozen lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they’ve received an email from the purported Micheal Alghun looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement. 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 loan frauds.

Here is the initial email:

From: MICHEAL ALGHUN [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: April 29, 2013 4:28 PM
To: Info
Subject: HELLO COUNSEL

Hello Counsel,

I am inquiring about the possibility of your firm representing me in the litigation of a breach of loan payment agreement. If this falls within the scope of your practice get back to me so that I can send the copies of our agreements and more information.
Regards,
MICHEAL ALGHUN
Email: [email protected]

A lawyer who replied got this response:

Hi,
I am so sorry for the late response.I had some family emergency.Below is the name of the borrower for your conflicts check:

Wayne Lee
Toronto,Ontario

Amount Borrowed- $250,000.00
Interest rate- 7.75 a year

The Borrower is someone I have known for a few years and we have done business in the past without any issues.He has only paid $65,000 out of a total ($250,000) the balance is still outstanding till this day. I am in constant contact with him and even though he has promised to pay the balance, I think the threat or possibility of litigation would serve as a catalyst to make him pay faster.
I am prepared to pay a reasonable retainer or collection costs for this service as soon as I get an engagement letter from your firm. I expect this to be a non-litigation collection from the borrower but I am prepared to litigate this matter if Mr.Lee is not ready to pay the balance owed on the loan agreement.
I have attached to this mail a pdf version of the loan agreement promissory note for your perusal.Please send me a copy engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue with Mr.Lee. I want to also let you know that as a owner of a small business,this loan that I gave to him has caused considerable strain on my operational capital.

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.

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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.