Lawyer Sues Citibank For Not Stopping Him From Losing Money In Nigerian Scam

from the blame-goes-around dept

A lawyer in Houston is suing Citibank after he got scammed in a variation on the classic Nigerian email scam. There are a few interesting tidbits here that are worth discussing. First, the details: the lawyer, who does collections work, was contacted via email by a company that claimed to be a Japanese company that was trying to collect money from four clients in the US -- offering a contingency fee to the lawyer for help in getting the customers to pay up. Soon after that, the "Japanese company" claimed that one client had agreed to pay some of what it owed -- and it sent the law firm a check for $367,500. Citibank said the check cleared, and the law firm wired $182,500 to the company. Of course, it later turned out that the check was fraudulent, and the law firm was out the $182,500.

This is a variation on a popular version of the Nigerian email scam. The way it usually works is that the scammer buys something that's for sale... and then sends a check that's for significantly more than the purchase price using some sort of excuse. Once the check "clears," the seller is asked to wire back the excess money. This version is interesting in that it's slightly more sophisticated -- carefully going after law firms that do collections. Rather than being a totally "out of the blue" situation, they worked hard to make it seem like business as usual until the scam is done. Sneaky.

While it's easy to mock the lawyer for getting tricked, the basic version of the scam and this more sophisticated version both rely on a very unclear part concerning check processing. Most people assume that once a check "clears" it's confirmed as valid. That's not true. Banks clear the check before it's actually validated, and the scammers exploit both the time between these two events and the fact that most people assume (or are told) that once a check clears, the money is definitely theirs. There are a few ways to solve this that banks could take. They could not clear the check until it's absolutely declared valid. Or, they could make it much clearer that, while the money is available, the check has not been validated and the money could be pulled. Since most banks do neither, the guy's lawsuit against Citibank is at least somewhat understandable -- though, it's unlikely a court will agree with him.


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    Evil Mike, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    The last check...

    The last time I received a big big check from the Nigerians, I sat on it for a couple weeks--right up until my bank said "fraudulent check" and then I filed the police report.

    How hard is it to just put in a little waiting time?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

      Re: The last check...

      Are you insane?!?! A good 70 to 80 percent of americans are too damn greedy and selfish to wait and any chance they can snag a quick buck like this they will jump on it like a pack of wild hyenas

       

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      Ed Kennedy, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

      Re: The last check...

      How could ANYONE think that somone in Nigeria has simply taken a like to you and wants to shower you with gobs of cash??? Greed blinds.

       

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      Opportunity knocks, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

      Re: The last check...

      I hear you there, in fact if someone was dumb enough send a check for someone else to me in my name and they asked me to cash it and send them the remainder, I'd simply cash the check and blow the other guy off for being stupid enough to email me out of the blue and ask for my help.

       

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    prevention

    My current bank prevents any money transfer of 6 (maybe 5) digits or more to "clear" without confirming that the money is actually at the other bank. So larger checks could be held for as much as 20 days before the funds are available. My old bank did this for anything over $1,000. I figured all banks did this to prevent this exact kind of thing. I also figured that business accounts did this as well since it takes forever for larger payments to get anywhere.

     

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      NANCY, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

      Re: prevention

      YES WHY DO BANKS ASUME THE FUNDS ARE THERE WHY DONT THEY SEE FIRST IF THE FUNDS ARE THERE THIS WAY WERE NOT OUT THE MONEY JUST GIVE THE CHECK BACK TO THE BANK MY BANK DIDNT EBVEN TELL ME JUST TOOK THE MONEY OUT THAT WAS UNFARE IF I HAD KNOWN I WOULD NOT HAVE USED THE MONEY

       

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    ScaredofTheMan, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    I think the law firm called the bank

    I read this a few days ago, I believe the lawyer is suing because he claims his staff called the issuing bank to confirm the check was indeed theirs. I think he claims his law firm received confirmation and hence is now suing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    My bank account online shows both an "available balance" and a "posted balance". I don't understand why it just doesn't stay in the "available balance" column until it is totally cleared (meaning my bank was paid by the issuing bank) and then they could move it to the "posted balance" column to show it is a done deal.

    What I am getting from this article is that it would be considered part of the "posted balance" even before the bank has recived the funds?

     

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    Moderation, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    I hope this guy wins. Normally I'd side with the "he should have been more careful" crowd, but if the bank said it was a go, he has to be able to rely on that. The bank should at least eat his loss, if not the full check amount...

    Maybe if they loose this case, banks in general will do a better job of providing up to date and accurate information to customers.

     

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      Ima Fish, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      "Normally I'd side with the "he should have been more careful" crowd, but..."

      Agreed, the lawyer did everything right and by the book, and he was still screwed by relying on the bank's assertion that the check was good.

       

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        Ed, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re:

        So the lawyer did everything by the book?

        I get an email, a couple of exchanges later (and me sending my bank routing number) I get a check in my bank account.
        I send some money back.

        For absolutely no effort on the lawyer's side, he is supposed to get $200k.

        Old adage, when it is too good to be true, it must be.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re:

        No the lawyer knew what he was doing. He's trying to play dumb to get some cash. What a prick.

         

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        Ed Kennedy, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re:

        "...he was still screwed by relying on the bank's assertion that the check was good"
        No...he was screwed by being greedy and STUPID!

         

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      gyffes, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      He won't win. This guy was ARRESTED FOR FRAUD for cashing the check and spending the money even after he did even MORE than the lawyer to ensure all was above-board.

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/20/BUGK2N2M051.DTL

       

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      NANCY, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:18pm

      Re: MODERATION

      TRUE WHEN A BANK SAYS THE ACCOUNT IS VALID AND THE FUNDS ARE THERE YOU ASUME OK COOL I CAN CASH THIS THEN LATER FIND OUT BY MAIL NOT A CALL FROM THE BANK THEY TOOK OUT MONEY I FEEL BOTH BANKS ARE AT FAULT

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Thanks for this comprehensive review of the Blackberry Storm. I too feel that it is a strong competitor of the iPhone regardless of the bad reviews it receives elsewhere.

     

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    Analyst (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Moderation, I hope he doesn't win. The bank has a fraud procedure in place. This event will fall into the hands of that group, who will probably refund the money quickly in light of the glaring evidence. The lawsuit will be nothing more than a waste of court time and bank money.

     

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    DimWit, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    Hard to feel bad for scumbag collections lawyers. They should know how the US banking system works.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:22am

      Re: What?

      If you were running a business and somebody owed you money, who would be the scumbag? You for trying to collect or the customer for running out on your tab? I highly recommend you work retail as a living for at least a year and get some real world experience under your belt. If you stop paying on your credit card and try to skimp out on what you owe, I would say you are the scumbag, not the agency for trying to collect. I'm glad the IRS is now imposing a $500 limit to the write offs on collection agencies. If they write off more than that, it's claimed as income on your return. Knock yourself out. Write of $60,000 of $80,000 and let's see that $60,000 boost on your income return, because you earned that money.

       

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      asdf, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      Thats a pretty sad argument against the lawyer.

       

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      ImpatientGirl, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      "scumbag collections lawyers"... one has to wonder if you've always paid all of your debts on time for you to have such an opinion of the collections lawyers.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    I read about this story on another site. It should be noted that "Citibank said the check cleared." The fact the lawyer did everything by the book. I think Citibank is definitely liable in this case.

     

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    Phil D., Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Analyst

    Banks need to be more stringent in their check clearing.

    Ambiguities make for lawsuits, eg. this suit, and lawsuits make for more precise language in the future.

    There is no reason to say the money is there if the money is not in your account and available to withdraw. I'm ignoring/assuming the bank has the cash funds to give you a reasonable withdrawal, but for business purposes the logic still fits.

    If it takes two additional days, or an additional 2-3 weeks for a large transfer, so be it, but please don't sugarcoat and bullshit me.

     

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    Douglas T (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    The banks are forced by recent laws to "clear" checks in two days. Our lawmakers didn't take into account the actual physical process of getting that piece of paper to the issuing bank and back within those two days.

    Another unintended consequence of a well meaning law.

     

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      Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Although I think that he should have been more cautious. People are missing one issue with this. Banks "clear" checks fast because;
      1. Customers and Businesses don't want to have to wait 5-7 Business days to get paid or access to their money.
      2. Because of Laws and regulations.

      But you do have to wonder with everything electronic why can't money be truly cleared in two days?

       

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    You never know, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    As much as I feel bad for the guy, he was foolish for falling for such a widely known scam, even in a modified form. Being a lawyer, greed overwhelmed his better since so it serves him right. The old and best rule is, "If it's to good to be true, it most likely isn't"

     

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    Educated doesn't mean smart, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    The check is not really 'clear', but rather made 'available'. This is due to a response by Congress to allow faster access to funds for all of us. But by no means does a cleared check mean it's a good check.
    Anytime you make a deposit, you have a certain amount available to you right away or the next day. The rest can be held for 2-3 days for a local check or 5-7 days for out of state. It may actually take over 10 business days (not including weekends & holidays) for it to clear the other bank & be OK for you. That is how scammers are able to do what they do, they know how to work the system to their advantage.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    idk, but when my bank says the check cleared then i get no money, i feel that the bank messed up somewhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    He is out of luck. Despite what the employee supposedly told him the bank will prove that when the firm opened the account and through periodic notices that there are enough disclaimers about an accounts "collected" balance that he will lose unless of course Citi decides to mitigate the loss.

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    It's good to be a lawyer

    The lawyer's natural reaction is to sue someone; not everyone has that option. Most often, this exact scenario plays out for some desperate, unemployed schlump... bank says it's cleared, so they write a check for the rent; then the counterfeit bounces, and the police arrest the poor sucker. Both the police and the courts are unsympathetic, and the victim/scamee spends years in jail, quite literally. When it happens to the lawyer, he not only ducks prosecution, but sues the bank as well.

    And who said it cleared? A $7.00/hr teller?

     

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    Joseph Durnal, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    $182,500

    For $182,500 I would drive to the bank that issued the check and have them cash it for me at the teller window. I'd ask for a $100 bill and 182,400 ones.

    Seriously, it really depends on the exact words used in the exchange between the victim or his staff and the bank.

     

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    Anonymous, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Moderation, I hope he doesn't win. The bank has a fraud procedure in place. This event will fall into the hands of that group, who will probably refund the money quickly in light of the glaring evidence..

    Are you that seriously deluded Analyst? The bank is going to cough up $180,000 + dollars, simply out of good will?
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH....AHAHAHAHAHAHA...HOLD ON..AHAHAHAHAHAHA..DONE. FAT CHANCE!

     

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    RD, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Yeah right

    Its a big corp-bank, so they win by default. The "little guy" (even lawyers) mean nothing and are always found against when going up against big business. I am getting sick of the corrupt judicial system we have and the Corporation of America thinking that our leaders and lawmakers have.

     

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    Chris, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Check to clear

    I read a while ago about a person who cashed a fake check he received from some junk mail. His account was credited the funds. He knew the check was fake and didn't spend any of the money. After a month the bank found out the check was fake and tried to get their money back. He fought the the bank stating that the bank only has a certain amount of time before they can legally get their money back. Anyone know the laws or if there is a law stating the banks only have a certain amount of time before they they can claim their money back?

     

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    Bluejeanqueen, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    the problem is the attorney got greedy and got caught up in his own web. Just desserts as my Grandmother would say!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Read The Article

    the check was from Citibank
    lawyer deposited it in a different bank
    lawyer called citibank to verify that the check was legit
    Citibank confirmed it
    check actually was fraudulent
    The lawyer was decieved by the scammer, and by Citibank
    lawyer sues Citibank to cover losses

    IANAL but it looks like Citibank is at least partially to blame here. Sure the laywer was a bit of a dumbass but would you do any differently if you had actually called the bank that supposedly issued the check and they confirmed it was theirs?

     

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    slimcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    The attorney wasn't honest either!

    Sounds like he was trying to collect money he didn't deserve in the first place, assuming the clients of the fictitious Japanese company were also fictitious and he hadn't contacted the client that had supposedly agreed to pay his debt.

     

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    porkster, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Shame on the banks!

    When I first saw the heading I thought just another dumb bunny trying to blame someone else for their mistake. As I read the article I changed my mind.

    This bank check thing also happens in New Zealand (although its had quite a bit of publicity here over the years).
    I still blame the banks as they clear the cheque and make the funds available for use.

    Surely if they can't gareentee the funds then they should not make them available.

     

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      NANCY, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:31pm

      Re: Shame on the banks!

      GO TO THE BANK IT WAS DRAWN ON AFTER YOU CALL TO SEE IF IT WAS REAL AND THE FUNDS WERE THERE THIS WAY NOT MONEY LOSS FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS I LOST 2500

       

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Gotta side with the schmuck

    I don't get how Citibank gets to rescind the 'check is valid' bit. If they say it is, it should be. If not, they shouldn't say it is. How else are you going to be able to tell if you're dealing with a client or a scammer?

     

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      NANCY, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

      Re: Gotta side with the schmuck

      SO TRUE I WAS TOLD THE CHECKINGT ACCOUNT WAS VALID THEN I SAID IS THERE ENOUGH FUNDS TO CASH THE CHECK THEY SAID YES SO I DID THEN 2 DAYS LATER IT WAS RETURNED AND THEY TOOK OUT THE 2500 FROM MY BANK

       

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    Michael Kohne, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Should have known.

    He probably should have known this was a scam.
    He definitely should have known how the banking system works.

    I don't think he'll win, banking law being what it is, but if the lawsuit can cause changes in how banks report things, then I'm all for him suing.

    Right now, as far as I know, there's simply no way for me to find out if a check is 'good' or not. It can bounce off the other bank at any time.

    I'd personally prefer to not be given the money until the check is really good, but if I at least had some way to know when the check was 'final', that would be great. Right now I just wait 10 days then assume it's good. Partial refund scams are, of course, ignored.

    Of course, 'final' in this instance still isn't 'final' because the check could be repudiated by the account owner when he gets his next statement. But I'd like to be able to at least know that the bank it was issued on has said 'yea it's good'.

     

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    Mike, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Another stupid person

    Lawyer is stupid thinking he can make a quick buck. He deserves what happened. Did he ever think of actually calling the people who he is about to enter a contract with?

     

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    anymouse, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Lawyer not in touch with reality

    Lawyer: Hi, I have a check from Big Scammer's Biotch in the amount of $350,000, account #1234-56789, is this a valid check?

    Bank Employee: Yes, that is the account number for Big Scammer's Biotch's account, but we have no record of the checks they may have issued.

    Lawyer: Thanks for confirming that this is a valid check.

    Bank Employee: Wait, I only said the name and account are valid, not that the check was valid.

    Lawyer: Ok the bank said it was valid, lets run it thru and sue the daylights out of them when it gets bounced back as a fraudulent check.... I can smell the $$$ already, confirm my 1:00 tee time, I need to relax a little after all this hard work today.

    With very few exceptions (positive pay users mainly) the banks have no clue what checks a company may or may not have issued (especially foreign banks/companies), and generally all they can confirm is that the name matches the account number (checks are sooo easy to forge these days), they can't confirm that the company actually issued a check for that dollar amount unless the company is using positive pay reporting (this is where they send a list of the checks they have written to the bank on a daily basis, and the bank will only clear checks that are on that list, but most companies don't utilize this level of control on their expenditure accounts).

     

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    Joe, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Typically

    I always side against a lawyer, but given the full story i guess i can see where they are coming from. If nothing else maybe this will spur banks to change their policies and be more clear about what has cleared and what is final.

    Nigerians seem to learn quick, you would think that we could stay ahead of them but some of these tricks almost seem to crafty.

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Typically

      Joe admitted:

      I always side against a lawyer...

      Something to be kept in mind the next time you need one...

       

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    ddbb, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    As a lawyer who has received those emails, it seemed obvious that they were fraud. However, I'm a corporate lawyer. I do not know if plaintiffs' lawyers get random clients over the Internet this way. When I get random calls, the first thing I ask is how the caller found my name. At least with referrals, you have something to verify.

    It would not surprise me if someone overseas could dress up their operation to look legitimate. I wonder if he asked for a retainer. It has been my experience that the retainer request usually drives away prospective "clients" looking for free legal work or scams.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    There is a bigger issue and solution here.
    The laws concerning holding checks were written when all transactions were done on paper and it may actually have taken a week to "clear" a check. These days, there is no excuse for a bank to hold a check or not confirm it within 24 hours.
    Instead, the banks "hold" the money for you, "just in case" but meanwhile are using that money to earn interest for themselves by lending it out.
    When banks stop holding out of state checks for 7 days or longer, and stop charging up to $50 for NSF, then it can complain. I hope this guy DOES win.

     

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    Danny (profile), Jan 29th, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    I don't know

    I have no opinion as to whether the lawyer should win or lose. As, unlike some posters above, I realize I don't know all the facts.

    I do have some sympathy for the story the lawyer is telling, though. My rental tenant paid her October rent by check on October 3. I deposited it on October 6 and it cleared quickly. On October 21, the bank pulled back the money (she didn't have cash in her account to cover the check). That caused me to bounce quite a few checks. I'd presumed once the check cleared it was mine to spend.

     

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    Jeff, Jan 30th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    Malpractice

    He should sue himself for not understanding the Uniform Commercial Code and the relevant banking laws. All he needed to do was wait the statutory period for the check to actually clear in his bank account before forwarding the funds to his client and he would not have this problem. Clearly, he was in a hurry and not thinking.

     

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    John, Jan 30th, 2009 @ 8:46am

    ...

    I'm a commercial litigation attorney, and have been approached by scamsters like this. Fortunately, I asked a few too many pointed questions, after which the scammers "settled" and decided they didn't need me.

    A few points: 1. Many people don't understand the UCC provisions re: checks clearing. Ignorance? Perhaps, but totally understandable in my opinion. 2. My policy has been that any incoming checks must wait 10 business days to clear before leaving my IOLTA account. 3. It's very perverse for a lawyer because he may SUSPECT he's being scammed, but the client confidentiality provisions restrict him from contacting the FBI &/or local police departments. 4. I'm glad the lawyer made the other clients whole, but I can certainly empathize with him.

    Man, there but for the grace of God go I... I hope the rest of the sanctimonious folks out there appreciate that.

     

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    E. Kellett, Jan 30th, 2009 @ 5:35pm

    Scamming

    I find it hard to believe a lawyer would fall for something s obvious. All one has to do is go to reverse email and they can determine if the email address is valid - and if it is, where it is located. Such a simple way not to get tricked.

     

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    cynthia powell, Jan 31st, 2009 @ 7:49am

    ????

    Greed, just common greed, it is bringing this country down. i will say this about lawyers, somebody had to be on the bottom of the list in school and this guy had to be the one. I am a housewife and I can see from here this is crooked. But that makes it better for some of these lawyers. A collection lawyer? What do you think? Sure someone is going to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars in your bank account just for doing a "good job". I can hear him bragging about it now. I think it serves him right for being so ignorant and not being able to read enough to know how long this has been going on. It's been all over the papers and I won't even expect him to get on the internet. It's pure greed and payback.

     

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    IANAL, Jan 31st, 2009 @ 8:05am

    How did he pass the bar?

    This guy is a lawyer. He should be familiar with the Uniform Commercial Code. A check is not good until it is "presented" and "accepted." A layperson might have a case against the bank, but a lawyer (especially one who practices in this area) must know the difference between these two terms and a check "clearing."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 5:46am

      Re: How did he pass the bar?

      Cynthia (#53) already answered your question. Someone had to graduate bottom of the class. That + greed = lawyer getting taken.

       

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    Nigerian checks and subprime mortgages same differ, Jan 31st, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Everyone is blaming the banks and brokerage firms for their part in the subprime mess. No one is blaming the ignorant or uneducated slob who took out a zero interest loan for a house he couldn't afford, but without him, there would be no subprime mess. In reading this article, alot (but thankfully not all) of people are blaming Citibank. How's about blaming the lawyer who thought he could get a gob of money for no work down. America, what happened to taking responsibility for your actions? A sucker is born every minute, is it the duper's fault you are an idiot and greedy?

     

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    desideratum, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 6:59pm

    Alright, here's how they work. Often times a cheque will clear and then the issuing bank will retract it. I had this happen to me two weeks ago with a cheque written to me. It cleared the next day, but within a few hours was taken back out of my balance because the issuing bank found the cheque was written on a closed account. Also, if you deposit an amount that's not out of the bankers normal habits, the bank will usually front the money right away, or within the next 24 hours. So, it's possible the 182.5k wasn't anything out of the ordinary to the lawyers account so Citi made the funds available right away.

    We could go on until we bleed over who is at fault over this.

     

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    NANCY, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    CHECK WITH NO FUNDS

    i WAS SELLING ITEMS ON CRAIGS LIST AND GOT A CHECK FOR THE ITEMS SO i CALLED THE BANK TO CHECK TO SEE IF IT WAS A VALID ACCOUNT AND IF THEY HAD THE FUNDS TO CASH THE CHECK OF COURSE M,Y ANSWERS TO BOTH QUESTIONS WERE YES I CAHSED THIS CHECK ON 3/13/09 MY BANK TRYED TO GET THE MONEY MONDAY 3/16/09 AND NO FUNDS WOULD IT HAVE BEEN BETTER TO GO TO THE BANK IT WAS DRAWN ON SOME SAY YES HOW CAN I GET THIS MONEY BACK IM REALLY DEPRESSED ABOUT THIS

     

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    CL, May 15th, 2009 @ 3:21am

    Fraud

    You are all forgetting something basic. Even if the other persons bank has sent the money to my bank, the writing party has 60 days after recieving the bank statement to say wait I never wrote that check. If the check is proven not to be legit then the money must be refunded. It is not uncommon for large businesses or just some rich people to have lots of money in an account. Depending on how many people are involved with the account it can also take time for something like this to be caught. How would you feel if some duplicated your check (very easy to do-store clerk (travel agent) copies information places order with mail order company for checks)wrote a check knowing you are on vacation for a month. You come back open your statement and $XXX.XX is gone and the bank said to bad we cleared your check. Forgery is always fraud and parties who were defrauded get made whole. This lawyer has no case and missed his banking law class.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    I think this lawyer is difinitly going to win if he is good and or have a good partner. For a large amount of funds like this the bank knows better if its clear or validated before make funds available to the lawyer in this case. cus the lawyer could be the scamer... so now they are taking the money back cus they didnnt tell the lawyer to be aware of the check not being validated thats like scaming the lawyer themselves.

     

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    Gregory Magarshak, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:00am

    Ironic that the scammers' check was reversed nicely, but the lawyer's check cannot be reversed.

    The banks suck

     

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    Gregory Magarshak, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Ironic that the scammers' check was reversed nicely, but the lawyer's check cannot be reversed.

    The banks suck

     

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    Jessica, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Happened to me today!!

    I tried to sell an instrument through craigslist. The guys sent me a check for 2500. He gave a bunch of bull of why it was for that much. Three business days pass and the bank cleared it. This morning, the money was still in my account and marked as "available". 5 hours later, my bank said it wasn't valid and took it away.

    Once the bank labels the money "available" that means its available to use.
    Whenever we overwithdraw, the bank tells us.. check your available balance. It is always correct.

    To make it worse, my bank charged me money for the check.

    A world without banks, sounds like a perfect solution.

     

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    J, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    "You are all forgetting something basic. Even if the other persons bank has sent the money to my bank, the writing party has 60 days after recieving the bank statement to say wait I never wrote that check. If the check is proven not to be legit then the money must be refunded"

    The trouble is you can't have it both ways - if one account holder can stop payment for 60 days, both can. My guess is if this were to go to a jury, the bank would get shredded, including possible punitive damages. If the bank told him the check was good, they assumed the risk.

     

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    Joe, Jan 10th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    The whole problem is someting nobody has mentioned - there is no system in place that tells a bank when an item has cleared another financial institution. They are only notified when a check DOESN'T clear. The other way around would require moving 1000 times more data around, since a lot fewer checks bounce than clear.

    Banks CAN'T know when individual checks clear under the current system - even a phone call to the issuing bank isn't useful, as there is a lot of liability involved if something goes wrong. While such a system may exist in the future, doing such a thing now would require 1000 times more information going back and forth between banks and the Fed as does now - it would be a logistical nightmare.

     

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    Dumass Mcgee, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Man fuck the government fuck they blood sucking ass

     

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