Commercial equipment purchase scam using the name Marco Gentilini
Date First Reported: January 2016
Primary Name Associated: Marco Gentilini
Description of Potential Fraud:
Three Ontario firms have notified us that they received an email from the purported Marco Gentilini looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.
This appears to be a 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 purchaser (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 to the lawyer:
Contact Name: Marco Gentilini
Email Address: [email protected]
Kindly Acknowledge this email, if your firm can draft a complete purchase and sale agreements on a truck mounted crane, from contract preparation through closing. Yours Sincerely. Marco Gentilini
Replying to the email brought this response:
A buyer who resides in the Canada have requested to buy one of our C2000 Truck mounted crane product, I would need your legal expertise to guide me through this process, by helping me draft a complete package of your Purchase and sale agreements for this transaction,the proposed buyer name and location is: “Braymore Crane Service-320 Norfinch Dr.Toronto, Ontario. M3N 1Y4, Canada.” for your record and conflict check.
The scope of your engagement would be to draft and execute a standard Purchase & Sale agreement that would protect all parties involved. I would like a few terms to be included in the standard contract that you would prepare, as this has been verbally discussed with the buyer and mutually agreed upon. The buyer will be represented by their broker. Existing terms are that buyer will make initial deposit that would cover attorney legal fees as soon as the legal agreement is executed. The initial deposit will not be less than 23% of total amount which is mandatory. It must be received within 5 business days before signing contract to show commitment.another 17% will be paid on Confirmation of shipment held in trust pending the arrival of equipment to destination area.and the Full Balance is expected after the arrival of equipment to destination area. Primary inspection has been carried out and was satisfactory, Secondary inspection is pending. Buyers’ broker will also provide an LOI with details of the transaction at the time of initial deposit.
The total expenditure is Nine hundred and seventy thousand dollars (970,000.00 CAD), please advice your estimated standard fees for contract preparations and kindly have it forwarded to my attention for my reviewer and signing.Attached are some required technical details of the truck for your review,kindly Schedule a time between 10am-12 noon your time next week to discuss details if necessary.
General manager-Marco Gentilini
TCM srl. – 86039 Termoli (CB), Italia – Zona Ind.le
Tel/Fax.- +39 351 229 6374/+39 066 051 3607
Codice Fiscale e Partita Iva IT00808620702
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 are an Ontario lawyer who suspects 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.
What can you do to help put a stop to the fraud attempt? You can simply stop replying to the fraudster’s emails or inform them that you suspect fraud and will not act on the matter (or will take no further actions on the matter). You can report the fraudsters email addresses to the email hosting company. If you have a fraudulent cheque you can destroy it or send it to the fraud department of the financial institution, which may wish to see it. In Canada, you can report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
We are often asked if it is worthwhile to report the fraud attempt to the police in the hopes of helping catch the fraudsters. You can certainly report the fraud to your local or federal law enforcement agencies, but unfortunately it is often difficult, expensive and time consuming for them to attempt to shut down these online fraud perpetrators (though there are some successes).
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.