A California firm notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Edwards Shirley 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 and subsequent response:
—– Message from
Subject: Breach of Settlement.
I am seeking legal representation from your law firm regarding a breach of Settlement agreement with my former employer due to the injury I sustained while working for them. I need proper legal advice and assistance to know the best way to handle this issue. If this is your area of practice, please contact me to provide you with further Information. I will
appreciate a referral if posible.
Replying to the email brought this response:
Good day to you and thanks for responding to my email. Please pardon my late email response as my new job does not allow me to stay long on the computer and I do not use phones due to the nature of my new job here in Hong Kong (OIL RIG WORKER),I work inside the sea were phones are not working non allowed, I work three weeks in and two weeks out. But l do respond to my email at my earliest convenience.
Let me enlighten you a little bit about the incident, My name is Edwards Shirley I’m a U.S. Citizen, I was on official duties in a company were I use to work ‘’BED BATH & BEYOND INC.’’ when one of our official trucks going out for delivery hit me while reversing right inside the Warehouse Premises, this happened on the 12th of February 2013 inside our company’s Warehouse. There have not been any attorney working on this case before I entered a settlement agreement and General release with my former employers for $395,000.00USD because the accident lead to permanent disability as in my case have severe waist pain and can’t stand for long anymore. I got paid $85,000.00 USD- still owe $310,000.00 before I left USA to Secure an oil rig office job here in Hong Kong (COMPUTER PROGRAMMING), but have not received any payment since my departure.
Different payment dates have been promised and I still have not received anything. Advice from my solicitor here in Hong Kong was to seek legal assistance in USA were the agreement was entered, this is why I contacted you to act as my counsel and receive funds on my behalf. For my review I request your attorney-client retainer agreement and if the terms are acceptable I will sign so we can commence the process as soon as possible, then I can inform the company to expect contact from you as you have been authorized to act on my behalf and receive said funds or make contact with your firm. I would like your legal expertise in this matter on a contingency basis if that is acceptable, Please go ahead and run your conflict check, and advise me on your retainer’s fee and send me a retainer agreement, I shall sign the agreement and forward it back to you.
Please do get back to me so I can furnish you with the required details to contact my former employer and receive my entitlements on my behalf as I know these companies respect law firms and do not want to be carried to court.
My last contact with my former employer, I was told I would receive payment not later than Mid Nov 2013, up till date no funds were received, below find my former employer’s Information and attach are the agreement we both signed and agreed on, and a copy of the $85,000.00 check that was paid by Bed Bath and Beyond inc. Below find their details
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
1252 Galleria Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation and understanding. Contact me should you require more information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.