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Date First Reported: September 2013

Primary Name Associated: Rachel Herraez

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Thirteen lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Rachel Herraez of Debiotech SA looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

There is a real Debtiotech company whose name is used without their knowledge.

Here is the initial contact email and subsequent replies sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Rachel Herraez
Company:
Phone: 4565745320
Subject: contract negotiation

Message Body:
We were refer to your firm by American Bar Association.
We are enquiring for an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract
negotiation or a lawsuit

Rachel Herraez
Sales manager
Debiotech S.A
www.debiotech.com

A lawyer who replied got this response:

We are hours ahead of your time in the united states, Frederic Neftel the Managing Director would like to know if it’s OK for him to call you on Friday 11AM your time. In the interim find below our case for your review.
However, We wish to inform you that we would be needing your firms legal help to assist us with a breach of contract matter and also retrieve funds owed to our company. The contract of sales was signed on the 11th March 2013, Seller was suppose to deliver to us the buyer on or before 1st April 2013. However, the deadline date was extended to 15 April 2013 as requested for by the selling company. Quite unfortunately, the extended deadline was not honored.
We ordered goods from GE HEALTHCARE, and was asked to make a 50% down payment for goods to be delivered to us and that we did and up till date no goods were delivered. We asked for a refund but they have refused to make the refund to us. The amount in dispute is $633,567.60 .
Despite the foregoing, I will like to draw your attention to the relationship with the selling company which has been cordial and we have had successful business relationship over the past few years, and it is our position to maintain the relationship after settling the issues on hand. Right now, I will like to take appropriate steps and measures to enforce our rights on the agreement and/ or claim damages as appropriate. we request a 15% interest on a monthly bases from the day the contract was breached.
If your firm is retained, our expectation of your services for now will be within the scenario of a engagement letter to our client. This approach will trigger the much needed response from our client towards amicable settlement otherwise we will not hesitate to go into court litigation. We are prepared to pay your retainer fees. Litigation may be introduced as a last resort when options have been exhausted. We look forward to your prompt response and you may send your retainer document as well.
Please find below details of the owing company.
GE HEALTHCARE
1600 Rockland Road Wilmington, DE 19803, United State.
If you have any questions contact me personally anytime by email or call.
Yours Sincerely,
Rachel Noel. Herraez
Sales manager
Debiotech S.A.
Le Portique Av, de Sévelin 28
1004 Lausanne Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 548 16 70
www.debiotech.com

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.