Date First Reported: September 2015

Primary Name Associated: John Richard

Description of Potential Fraud:


Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported John Richard 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: john richard [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: September 11, 2015 10:59 AM
To: Sean Taylor


I need a Collection expert who can handle a collection issue.
A referral would be welcome if this is not your area of practice.

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thank you so much for your email.
I am Mr John Richard . I want you to help me receive outstanding debt from Eric Thurber on my behalf .He made commitment to pay the money

Amount: $280,000.00
Amount Paid:$60,000
Balance $220,000.00 plus 7%. Annual interest for 3years.

The fund is part of the loan ERIC took from me.
The point of disagreement between the debtor and I is on the interest at 7%.
Due to the fact that he is ready to pay the principal with a downward negotiation of the interest gives me this assumption.
I am ready as it is now to negotiate a review of the interest. he assured me that he will pay a substantial part of the capital now then he will pay the balance install mentally as we may agree.
Find attached copy of Loan Contract. Please contact Mr. Eric via his
Email: [email protected] for more details about the situation My best regard, John Richard

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.