Date First Reported: March 2014

Primary Name Associated: Franz-Joseph Paus

Description of Potential Fraud:


A California firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Franz-Joseph Paus and Hermann Paus Maschinefabrik looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

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 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 by the fraudster to the lawyer and subsequent reply:

Email: [email protected]
Name: Franz-Josef Paus
Phone: (499) 876-6543
Your Inquiry or Comment:: My name is Franz-Josef Paus,i want to file a complaint on a breach of agreement,am in need of an attorney familiar with the law and expertise to discuss the next steps and the appropriate actions to take.
Thank you in advance.
Franz-Josef Paus.

Replying to the email brought this response:

My email is in regard to my case and concerns that occurred in January 2012 on a loan agreement, I do appreciate your time in reviewing my request. I understand this may involve, but is not limited to, requesting copies of the documents and other pertinent information related to this case, as i look forward to reaching a quick resolution to this matter and appreciate your continued assistance,because my aim is to find a lawyer that will bring discomfort to the party on the other side of the lawsuit, We believe the key is finding a successful lawyer that is known for getting deals done, one that is respected by many different people that have opposing positions.

{United Rentals Inc.};
3665 Market St
Ventura, CA 93003-5107

In January 2012 United Rentals Inc. conduct in their financial meltdown, borrowed $6,899,900.00USD from Hermann Paus Maschinenfabrik GmbH my company which was an unsecured loan due to our past business relationship, United Rentals Inc. did not repay the loan in full when it came due in January 2014, they re-payed off some of the debt immediately and agreed to repay the balance,-approximately $6,550,900USD was paid within the range of due time in December 2013 leaving an outstanding balance of $1,193,396.88USD till date. when confronted they requested for an extension of the February 14 deadline to repay the loan My assistant Mrs. Reimer Tatjana investigated United Rentals Inc. finances which has been better over the past few months.

Although a statutory demand was sent by my company demanding payment of a debt owned by them,this is deemed to constitute evidence of the debtor company’s inability to

pay its debts,I believe my company is entitled to apply full pressure on United Rentals in respect of debts that are due,Once bitten by the failure to receive repayment of the initial loan on time, we decided to seek legal action against our debtor.In this email you will find attached payment copies, email correspondence, and agreement backing the loan for your prepared to pay a reasonable amount to settle our claim. as soon as i gets to review the terms of your representation agreements,you can have it faxed or emailed to my attention .am also prepared for a formal lawsuit to be filed. If United Rentals Company. fails to comply. Note any documents revealed in this mail should be confidential if your services are not engaged

Can you tell me more about your services.

•What is your education, work experience and area of specialty?
•What are my chances of success?
•How long will it take my before my case is resolved?
•How will you keep me updated on the progress of my case?
•Fees and the representation agreement:
I) Do you have a written agreement for representation that I can read beforehand?
II) How will you charge me for your services?
III) Can you give me a ballpark estimate for the total bill?
•How do you approach resolving conflicts with persons adverse to my position: what is your style that works?

I would be waiting to hear from you.

My sincere thanks for your time and consideration,
Franz-Josef Paus
Managing Director:
Siemensstrasse 1-9 Emsbüren
Lower Saxony 48488 Germany.
Lenken-Telefonnummer : +49 (0)5903 2093 399
Faxnummer: +49 (0)7392 9574320

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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.