Date First Reported: May 2012

Primary Name Associated: Michael Molden

Description of Potential Fraud:


Five lawyer in Ontario have notified us that they’ve received an email from the purported Michael Molden looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement. This is similar to other frauds of this kind we have seen. For a full description of how this fraud works and to see other names attached to it, see our Confirmed Fraud page that deals with business load frauds.

Here is the initial email:

From: Michael Molden [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:51 PM
To: lawyer name
Subject: legal inquiry

I am writing to request your firms possible legal representation in a collection/litigation matter.I have reviewed your firms profile and believe that this case is within your jurisdiction. Do let me know your position in reviewing this matter, so I may provide any additional information.I anticipate receiving a prompt response from you or your firm.

Michael Molden
5467 southgate
Fairfiled OH 45014

A lawyer who responded got this reply:

Thank you very much for your prompt response to my email. I appreciate your willingness to render services as I have requested.In order for you to run a conflict check I have provided the name of the borrower below and hope there is no conflict of interest that prevents you from representing me.

Martin John
41 Bexhill Ave
Toronto, ON, M1L 3B7

Amount Borrowed- $392,760.00
Interest rate- 7.75 a year

The Borrower is someone I have known for a few years and we have done business in the past without any issues.He has only paid $75,680 out of a total ($392,760) the balance is still outstanding till this day. I am in constant contact with him and even though he has promised to pay the balance, I think the threat or possibility of litigation would serve as a catalyst to make him pay sooner rather than later.
I am prepared to pay a reasonable retainer or collection costs for this service as soon as I get an engagement letter from your firm. I expect this to be a non-litigation collection from the borrower but I am prepared to litigate this matter if he is not ready to pay the balance of the loan. Please send to me a copy of your firms standard retainer agreement for my review. Am willing to provide all necessary documentation and information with regards to the issue at hand once we have agreed on terms of your representation i.e. a retainer letter from your firm.Thank you very much as I await receipt of your firms’ standard retainer agreement.

Michael Molden
5467 southgate
Fairfiled OH 45014

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.

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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.