Business debt collection scam using the name Matthew Leong
Date First Reported: July 2013
Primary Name Associated: Matthew Leong
Description of Potential Fraud:
Eight lawyers in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta have notified us that they received an email from the purported Matthew Leong looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement.
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 and subsequent responses sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
From: Matthew Leong [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 7:24 PM
Subject: Legal Matter
This is a request for your legal consultation services, I would like your advice regarding possible representation on a litigation case concerning breach of contract/loan matters. Do let me know your position in reviewing this matter, so I may provide any additional information. I look forward to your prompt response.
11227 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA, 98125
Thank you very much for your prompt response to my email. I do appreciate your time in reviewing my request and I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth and hitch free business relationship. I am ready to work with you to achieve our goal as the importance of your services cannot be over emphasized.
I understand the importance of retaining your services accordingly and I will provide all necessary documentation and information in that regard. 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 $180,000 out of a total ($575,000) the balance is still outstanding. 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.
However, I believe that litigation should be applied as a last resort as I intend to retain our relationship after payments are made. Therefore, I do not plan to resort to litigation unless all other options are exhausted, but we will like the comfort of knowing that the option is available and letting Him know that litigation may be enforced if the option becomes necessary.
I understand that you have to run a conflict check. Below is the name of the borrower for your conflicts check and to enable you present me your engagement letter for your services on
70 Donwood Dr
Winnipeg, MB, R2G 0J9
Loan amount: $575,000
Amount paid: $180.000
Pls, send your engagement letter for my review. Due to the fact that litigation might not be necessary, we assume that these case is within your jurisdiction and regional boundaries and will not be an issue for you.
Thank you for your business as we look forward to your prompt response.
11227 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA, 98125
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.