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Date First Reported: October 2014

Primary Name Associated: Eric Stricker

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

[Updated Nov 2014]

25 firms in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Eric Stricker of Koch Guitar Electronics 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 email from the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Koch Guitar Electronics [mailto:gukochelectronic@dishmail.net]
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2014 9:02 AM
Subject: Attn: Legal Representation

Dear Counsel,

Our company needs a contractual dispute and business litigation matter handled. If you take such cases please kindly respond for more details.

Eric Stricker
Chief Operating Officer
Koch Guitar Electronics
gukochelectronics@dishmail.net

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thank you for your audience. a summary of our issue is thus, we ordered goods from Guitar Center, Inc, after much deliberations we agreed on price and terms and executed their sale contract. as requested, we paid the total cost of the goods and expected delivery. surprisingly the goods were not delivered at the expected delivery date. despite all our reminders and follow ups, these goods were still not delivered we had to terminate the contract and requested a full refund of our money. this has dragged on for a long time and our patience has run out. we decided to engage the services of a reputable attorney like you to handle this brief. the details of the supplier is below

Guitar Center, Inc
1147 N Hayden Meadows Dr.
Portland, OR 97217

we want a complete retrieval of every cent to us. this has gone on for long and we’ve been taken for a ride and taken for granted. we require your advice to explore all options available to us including litigation to retrieve these funds. this transaction breakdown has made us incur avoidable losses. our company handles daily volumes of transactions from all over the world and meeting these customer demands, company stability and staffs welfare are paramount to us. all these we cannot achieve if we incur cruel losses such as this. our business needs to be competitive, strong and relevant. all related documents pertaining to this botched transaction is attached. kindly address our concerns in your next email.

Do you sense any frailty in our case? How will the distance be taken care of when the time for court appearance comes. Can this be handled without us not showing up? How often do you handle such cases? What charge should we be looking at? Are they guarantees? what is our defense if they file for bankruptcy? We hate tardiness.

Provide your fee agreement and resume via email for our perusal or please provide us with a referral if you cannot take our case.

Best Regards,
Eric Stricker
Chief Operating Officer
Koch Guitar Electronics

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 fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

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.