Commercial debt collection scam by Nick Ualtar (or Phil Stevenson) of Prodromou Textiles
Date First Reported: May 2012
Primary Name Associated: Nick Ualtar
Description of Potential Fraud:
Fifteen lawyers in Canada and the U.S. have told us they’ve received an email from the purported Nick Ualtar (or sometimes Phil Stevenson) of Prodromou Textiles with regards to a commercial debt litigation scam. For examples of other names attached to this kind of fraud see our Confirmed Fraud Page. For an explanation of how this fraud works see our Fraud Fact Sheet.
The name “Prodromou” also appears in another business loan fraud that we’ve seen.
Here is the initial email:
From: Nick Ualtar
Sent: Thu, May 24, 2012 08:37:02 GMT+00:00
Subject: Legal Issue
I need a Business/Commercial litigation lawyer who can handle a collection issue. A referral would be welcome if this is not your area of practice
When the lawyer responded he got this reply:
I solicit your representation on behalf of Prodromou Textiles Limited.I need your counsel in litigation to collect a debt owed by a delinquent seller in your jurisdiction.
Our company purchased Machinery equipment of $1,400,000.00. 50% of the amount was paid as it is required before delivery i.e $700,000.00 and till now they have failed to execute their own part of the contract and giving unreasonable excuses.
Payment to the seller was made in January of 2012 and calculation shows that delivery is above 3 Months late, The regular purchase agreement requires seller to effect goods not later than 60 days upon payment or legal action may be enforced if delivery delay exceeds 90 days.
Find Below the location of the delinquent seller for you to run a conflict check. Kindly send your retainer agreement for my review thereafter.
Tipton Machinery Company
7725 Hub Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44125
Our Board of Directors awaits your retainer agreement after the conflict check and look forward to your prompt response at your earliest convenience.
Prodromou Textiles Limited
London, WC2A 2AE
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.
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.
May 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm, John Moroun said:
Are these guys trying to make themselves appear more legitimate by making reference to conflict checks and retainer agreements?
June 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm, Matthew Lieder said:
Another name/email used by this scammer: Alexander Gary, [email protected]
June 21, 2012 at 1:30 am, Jeannette said:
I received a similar one today for Prodromou Textiles, only it was from “Edgar.”
July 02, 2012 at 10:57 pm, Dorian said:
I received an email from this guy this past weekend. The email was from Tom Prodromou and he claimed that $2.8 million as contract price with $1.5 million paid upfront. He also claimed to have all of the evidence necessary to prove the case.
July 11, 2012 at 7:46 am, Brandy said:
I received an email from Tom Prodromou and he claimed 2,800,000 of which half was paid up front.
July 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm, Mark McGrath said:
I had the same email. It was exactly like the one Dorian describes above. I am in Durham, NC.
July 25, 2012 at 7:56 am, Marc said:
I just received the same emails. For awhile now I have been googling email solicitations. I always ask them to call my office. Interesting that they do not. Perhaps they know that many of us will not call them overseas. I hope other practitioners catch these.
July 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm, Kenneth Peel said:
July 30th – caution: I just received the same sort of thing from [email protected] , & I advised LawPro & made no reply: it read:
I need a Business/Commercial litigation lawyer who can handle a collection issue. Please let me know if you can be of assistance to me or If not a referral could be helpful,thanks and i await your mail.
August 08, 2012 at 7:19 pm, William said:
I’ve received the same solicitation from “Nick Ualtar,” but not from Prodromou. He says his British manufacturing business placed a $1.4 million order from a reputable business in our city, paid $700,000, and the local business has not performed as agreed. Even sent a “signed contract” supposedly on the local company’s letterhead. They have “agreed” to reimburse the $700,000 through me – say they’ll send $399,000 this week and $301,000 in thirty days. I told “Nick” to send me a $5,000 retainer before I’ll do anything. Even if he does, I’ll communicate with the local company through separate channels. But the retainer demand should put a stop to it.
August 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm, William said:
I received a check drawn on a Canadian bank for $399,127.00. It was sent FedEx and was sitting on my front porch this morning. I still haven’t received his retainer – I’m not doing any “work” for him until I get it – lol.
August 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm, Alan said:
Here is the email in full — what caught my attention was the (google search) statement.
Thanks so much for the mail.
I am Mark Prodromou , soliciting your representation on behalf of Prodromou and Co Textiles Limited. We got your contact from (google search) and as such we need your counsel in litigation to collect a debt owed in the amount of $1,400.000.00USD (million) by a delinquent seller in your region. We prefer to established Our presence in your state via a legal representative, Thereby forcing the seller to comply with payment request as effort made for refund has proven to be abortive,Below is the location of the delinquent seller.
Industrial Machinery & Parts, Inc
9986 Viaduct DE LA Amistad # G
San Diego, CA 92154-5212
We ordered for Machines worth $2,800,000.00, of which 50 percent of the funds was demanded before delivery. Payment to the seller was made in August of 2011 and calculation shows that delivery Maybe three Months late, The regular purchase agreement requires seller to effect goods not later than 60 days upon payment or legal action may be enforced if delivery delay exceeds 90 days.
I will forward you supporting documents i.e., proof of payment, sales invoice and wire transfer slip once your retainer agreement is signed.
I look forward to your prompt response and your retainer agreement.
— now there is in fact such a company in San Diego, which made this look legitimate (though the facts seem odd).