Date First Reported: July 2015

Primary Name Associated: Mark Davidson

Description of Potential Fraud:


An Ontario firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Mark Davidson 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 sent to the lawyer:

From: Mark Davidson [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9:58 AM

I request for your legal consultation services,I would like your advice regarding possible representation on a litigation case concerning breach of contract collection matters. I believe that the matter is within your jurisdiction which is why I’m requesting your legal advice. After a careful review of your firms profile as well as your qualification and experience, we are of the opinion that your are qualified to provide the legal services as requested.

Do let me know your position in reviewing this matter, so I may provide any additional information. I look forward to your prompt response.

Mark Davidson

Replying to the email brought this response:

I just received your e-mail and i write to give you brief details of the $650,000.00 i gave to my friend Mr. Joe Philip who reside at of 87 Rodick Rd, Markham, Ontario L3R 2N2 Canada.

Mr. Joe Philip was my old friend back in school. When he visited me in 28th of October, 2013 we were together then he asked if i can lend him the sum of $650,000.00 to put in Business. I agreed of giving him the funds due to the closeness of our friendship and also on the condition that he is going to pay back the complete funds within One year. He agreed to the terms and conditions given on the Agreement. On the 28th of October 2013 i issued out a cheque of $650,000.00 to him. The first and only install mental payment he sent was on the 1st Jenuary 2014 when he sent a cheque of $120,000.00 to me. Ever since he started making empty promises in paying back the balance $530,000.00.

Attach is the copy of the Agreement and also scan copy for the cheque of $650,000.00 issued to Mr. Joe Philip for your record. The reasons i contacted your office

is because i recommend that the balance funds be reimburse to me as soon as possible with the assistance of an attorney it will demonstrate and prove that a resolution should be made and monies collected appropriately. And the borrower will be in charge of the retainer agreement if the lender involve an Attorney to recovered his money.Below is the contact information of my friend

Joe Philip
87 Rodick Rd, Markham, Ontario L3R 2N2 Canada.

I want you to advise me of your retainer charges and also copy of your engagement letter which will enable us proceed. And the borrower will be in charge of the retainer agreement if the lender involves an Attorney to recover his money that’s our agreement if he fails to pay back the loan money.

Mark Davidson

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 SheetMore 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.