Commercial equipment purchase scam using the name Leonard Lee
Date First Reported: August 2014
Primary Name Associated: Leonard Lee
Description of Potential Fraud:
Firms in California and Alberta have notified us that they received an email from the purported Leonard Tee looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.
This is 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 Frauds 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:
From: Mr. Leonard T. Lee
Sent: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 5:11 PM
Reply To: [email protected]
I want to inquire if your firm handles Purchase transactions and agreements. A referral will be welcome if this is not your area of practice. Kindly advise regarding this issue as soon as possible.
Mr. Leonard T. Lee
This is the follow-up email:
This is a follow up email in regards to my request, I am in the process of selling my Dredger Please Find below the name of the proposed buyer for your conflict check. I want to know your hourly rate for preparing a purchase agreement, I have attached some necessary details of my Dredger for your review please advise me on your rate, initial retainer fee and forward me your retainer agreement.
2067 Wineridge Place,
Escondido, CA 92029
I await your prompt response.
Leonard T. Lee
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.
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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.
August 13, 2014 at 5:35 pm, Chuck said:
I’m a solo in San Francisco. I got this exact set of emails. And even though I let the supposed seller “Leonard Lee” know that I would not represent him, I still got a “check” in the mail from the buyer purporting to be worth nearly 500K, drawn on the account of a real company and transmitted on company letterhead. I called the company and asked to speak to the person who sent the letter and check. I was told there was no such person working in any of their many offices with the name I gave them. The email address he gave in his letter also did not match the company’s and was instead for a doctor referral service.
Thank you for the heads up on this one.