Lawyers are being warned about a “client” pitching a contingent case about a severance agreement.
Law firms and attorneys in multiple states have been approached by someone claiming to be “Daniel Rodriguez,” according to the Virginia State Bar. “Rodriquez” presents a set of fake documents supporting his claim to a severance agreement from the Tractor Supply Company.
Once the firm accepts the case on a contingent fee basis, a fake cashier’s check from the company is sent to the attorney, and the unwitting attorney wires the net proceeds to “Rodriguez.” Since the check is fake, the law firm has lost the money it wired to the scammer.
The Bar urges Virginia lawyers to be vigilant against this and other scams. The Tractor Supply Company is aware of the scam, is working with its IT department to identify the source, and has contacted the FBI, the VSB said.
The FBI recommends reporting victimization through its Internet Crime Complaint Center.
In 2017, a similar scam targeted lawyers in Loudoun County. A man claiming to be an architect trying to collect a large commission approached lawyers. Banks reportedly spotted the checks as fake before anyone lost money.