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Date First Reported: March 2014

Primary Name Associated: Billy Woodley

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Three U.S. firms have notified us that they received an email from the purported Billy Woodley of Ace Vision Ltd 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.

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

From: “[email protected]
To:
Subject: Enquiry
Dear Counsel, I need representation in a breach of sale matter in the amount of $423,706.00. Please advice if this area of practice, so I can forward you more information and a copy of the agreement for your review. reply me back here,[email protected] Warmest Regards, Billy Woodley COMPANY NAME: ACE VISION LTD. Email:[email protected] Tel: 1-888-728-0043 FAX: 1-855-446-8071

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thanks for your prompt response.At Ace-Vision we provide our customers the finest choices on professional video cameras,Lightings and accessories,films and binoculars for movies,music video and commercial adverts.The buyer Phillip Palmer has been our clients for a few years.We are very disappointed at his refusal to pay according to the sales agreement despite the 90 days of grace and credit granted to him and his company. At this point my company has no other alternative than to attempt to litigate this issue, at the risk of negatively affecting our business relationship.Attached is a copy the sales agreement and invoice in pdf format for your review.

In this current economic climate, we can’t afford to have $423,706.00 pending indefinitely with a customer.I understand that your firm must be retained before any attempt to collect from Mr Palmer. I am therefore requesting that you send me a copy of your retainer form or engagement letter, and if the terms are acceptable , I will sign and arrange for the retainer payment sent to your attention.

Below is the customer information :
Phillip Palmer
Lake Worth, FL

Warmest Regards,

Billy Woodley
ACE-VISION
Cameras,Lights & Lens
4966 Queen Street
Toronto,Ontario.
M5M 4G8.
TEL: 1-888-728-0043
FAX: 1-855-446-8071

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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.