Employee injury settlement scam using the name Stephen Riches
Date First Reported: November 2013
Primary Name Associated: Stephen Riches
Description of Potential Fraud:
A firm in Florida has notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Stephen Riches with regards to an employee injury settlement scam.
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 other names associated with it , and our Fraud Fact Sheet for a list the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.
Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer, subsequent response and fake documentation:
Email: [email protected]
Good day counsel,
I was injured at work due to reckless and negligent of the company, please i am in need of legal representative that handles personal injury/work injury matters.
Replying to the email brought this response:
I seek to retain your services to represent my claim for breach of Employment Agreement between me and BED BATH & BEYOND INC). It is my view that BED BATH & BEYOND INC has breached paragraph (9) of the Agreement in not providing my benefits to which is entitled to me as an employee of the company. To date, I have sustained a loss of £320,000.00, approximately ($500,000.00)
The facts which substantiate the claim are the following.
I began my employment with BED BATH & BEYOND INC in January 2012 when i signed my first contract with the company. I was employed as a Department manager, under production department. In connection with that contract i underwent a medical examination which found me 100% fit for duty. In January 2013 I signed a second contract with BED BATH & BEYOND INC, for another year, I underwent another medical examination, and was deemed 100% fit for duty.
On January 9, 2013 I was immunized for a variety of possible illnesses. Immunization which was mandatory by the company. A week later, on January 16, 2013 I began to feel ill. I had difficulties kneeling and felt numbness on my right foot. The numbness persisted and intensified over the next several days. Nevertheless, i continued to work. On January 26, 2013 i was immunized for influenza. This immunization, too, was mandatory. Following the second immunization i began to experience difficulties with walking.
On January 27, 2013 i went to the local medic. The medic was unable to help me and i was suggested to be transferred for a medical attention. I was transferred the same day to another hospital. But the medical staff there was unable to render a diagnosis. Instead, they suggested i should be sent home to Lancashire, UK.
On January 28, 2013 My medical condition worsened. While waiting for processing my departure to Lancashire, UK. I fell on the concrete floor and injured my knee. Eventually i was able to board the plane and after two layovers and long flights i reached Lancashire, UK. the following day. Upon arrival i was immediately hospitalized in Lancashire. By January 30, 2013 my legs were completely paralyzed and i was diagnosed with poliradiculoneuritis acuta (Sy. Guillain-Barrei), a syndrome associated with side effects of immunizations and vaccines. Thus, the doctor said my illness and its consequences were related to the immunizations to which BED BATH & BEYOND INC subjected me.
Find (Copy of the contract, medical reports, email correspondence and medical bill) attached.
Regardless of causation, however, BED BATH & BEYOND INC is obligated to pay my medical expenses. The Agreement’s paragraph (9) obligated BED BATH & BEYOND INC is to provide medical insurance to me but till date no medical insurance has been provided to me. At any rate, BED BATH & BEYOND INC has not paid my medical bills. I have been in the hospital till March 26, 2013, and thereafter has undergone physical therapy. My health has improved some, but am still ill. Currently, I’m in a thermal spa seeking to mend my health. My medical expenses to date amount is £320,000.00, which is ($500,000.00).
I’m aware that you will need to perform a conflict check. So find details of Bed Bath & Beyond store location where i was employed below.
BED BATH & BEYOND INC.
1574 Governors Square Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32301
However, if this is a case your firm can handle please advise on your fees and also have a copy of your firms agreement sent for my review. if you have any question contact me.
Thank you for your courtesies.
Very truly yours,
SCOTSHAW BROOK HOUSE BRANCH ROAD
LOWER DARWEN DARWEN LANCASHIRE BB3 0PR
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.