Date First Reported: June 2015

Primary Name Associated: Timothy Reed

Description of Potential Fraud:


A New York firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Timothy Reed of Michigan Tool & Broach looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

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 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:

From: Michigan Tool & Broach Inc. [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:11 AM
Subject: (No Subject)

I wish to inquire if your firm is currently accepting new clients.
Timothy Reed
Michigan Tool & Broach Inc.
308 State Street
Bay City, MI 48706.

Replying to the email brought this response:

I appreciate your prompt response to my legal inquiry. I need your legal representation in a potential litigation matter involving PHILMAR MACHINE & TOOL CO.928 E 51st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203. They owe my firm for goods delivered in good condition. The value of the goods delivered is $298,750.00.(Two Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars). Due date for the payment was the 15th of May, 2015 as stipulated in the invoice.
Please, run a conflict check on my debtor and also state your hourly rate and retainer fee.
I will like you to be aware of the cordial relationship my firm had shared with our customer over the years and would want to maintain that business relationship after collection of the outstanding sum owed to us.
Do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions.
I look forward to a timely response from you.
Timothy Reed
308 State Street
Bay City, MI 48706.
Direct Tel: 989 662 8186
Fax: 989 414 2240

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.