Thompson & Tredennick received a fraudulent request for help on a case involving an international transaction between a company in the UK and a company here in Houston. We asked the person for some more information and we received a summary of the case, a copy of the “contract” between the two companies, a copy of a bank transfer for over $1.5 million between the companies, and a series of alleged emails between corporate officers of both companies.
After receiving some information on the case, the facts looked too good to be true. We found that the alleged “bank transfer” occurred between two non-existent bank accounts. Although the names of the companies and the individuals at those companies were legitimate, the email addresses that the emails came from were not real email addresses. Thus we decided to decline the case and report to the State Bar of Texas.
We were surprised to learn that such scam cases are not rare: in fact, the State Bar has a web page with alerts on such scams. If you experience such a scam, I strongly encourage you to alert other attorneys via the State Bar blog. (By the way, you will see a 4/25/12 entry from Thompson & Tredennick partner Ted Tredennick on the Texas State Bar blog with a summary of the scam that we experienced).
Beware of such fraudulent cases! The Texas State Bar reports that attorneys have suffered from monetary losses as such fraudulent cases will acquire money from law firms. Fortunately, we were able to avoid this scam.
Nick Bruno is a Legal Assistant at Thompson & Tredennick