[Updated Sept 2014]
Nearly 30 lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have notified us that they received an email from the purported Ugo Grondelli of Alteco Medical 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 sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Ugo Grondelli [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:21 AM
Subject: Breach Of Contract
Our company is soliciting for legal assistance (Attorney) to handle a
breach of contract case,either through negotiation or litigation. Yours
Sincerely, Ugo Grondelli Board Member. Alteco Medical AB
Replying to the email brought this response:
First, as a way of introduction, I’m Ugo Grondelli Senior Board Member of Alteco Medical AB in Lund Sweden. We are Swedish medical device company focusing on intensive care.
We would like to thank you for your response to our inquiry for your firm’s legal services. However, I wish to inform you that we would need your firm’s legal service to assist us with a breach of contract case and also in helping our firm retrieving funds owed by a firm ( Praxair ) in your country (USA). The contract of sales was signed on the 13th of February 2014 between our firm (Alteco Medical AB) and ( Praxair ); these items were supposed to be delivered to us on the 17th of February but due to delay in producing some of the Items, Praxair extended the delivery date to the 7th of March 2014 which was agreed by our firm and also insisted that will be the deadline since payment has been remitted as requested; but the extended delivery date was not honored by Praxair.
We ordered goods from Praxair, and we were asked to remit 50% deposit for the goods to be delivered to us which we did, but up till date these goods were never delivered. We have asked for a refund but Praxair has refused to honor our request. The amount in dispute is $633,567.60 which was partial payment we remitted for the medical Items that was supposed to be delivered to us.
Despite the on foregoing issue with the firm, I will like to draw your attention to our previous relationship with the firm which has been successful in recent years, and it is our position to maintain the relationship after settling the current issue we have with the firm. Right now, we would want to take the appropriate step and measures to enforce our rights on the agreement and claim damages as appropriate. We request a 10% interest from the total amount owed by Praxair.
If your firm is retained, we would want your firm to take the first approach by serving a letter to Praxair and see if that will trigger any action towards the request for our refund.
We believe serving a letter to Praxair on our behalf will trigger the much needed response from the firm towards amicable settlement otherwise we will not hesitate to go into court litigation. We are prepared to retain the service of a legal firm to help us resolve our current dispute. We want Litigation to be introduced as a last resort when options have been exhausted. We look forward to your prompt response.
Please see below contact information of Praxair we ordered our Items from for verification.
4051 County Rd
Windsor, ON N9A 6J3
Alteco Medical AB
SE-226 60 Lund
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@example.com.
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.
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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.