Okay, forego the lawyer jokes for a second, and read. Last spring, a Long Beach law firm received an e-mail from a Hong Kong businessman seeking help collecting debts from American customers. An attorney with the firm saw a great opportunity to reel in more business during the economic downturn and agreed to help. After a month of signing paperwork and exchanging telephone calls with his client, the attorney received word from one debtor who sent a $200,000 cashier’s check to pay off his oustanding balance. The attorney deposited it in his firm’s account, subtracted his $10,000 fee and wired the remaining amount to his Hong Kong client.
An hour-and-a-half later, the attorney’s bank called and told him the check bounced. Fortunately, the bank was able to prevent the wire transfer from reaching its destination. He had almost been duped out of $190,000.