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Law Firm Scam Alert: Beware of Phony ‘Eagle Power’ Checks

Posted Feb 6, 2009 11:04 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Small firm lawyers from across the country are being contacted by mostly Asian companies looking for help collecting debts here.

Then, after the law firms agree to representation, they suddenly receive checks from one of the supposed debtors, Eagle Power Equipment, the Recorder reports. The checks are phony, and the people who contacted the lawyers aren’t really from the Asian companies they identified. But lawyers who are unaware of the scam will deposit the checks and send all but their retainer to the person who hired them.

"Therein lies the scam," Maryland lawyer Jerome Feldman told the Recorder. "It will be a few weeks later that you find that check never cleared and the majority of the funds that you thought you sent to a client in Asia went to some person in a motel on 101."

Feldman’s law firm received such a check but never cashed it after contacting the real Eagle Power. California lawyer Dana Sack also called Eagle after receiving a check, and says he was told that small firm lawyers were calling from all over the country after receiving what turned out to be phony checks.

One lawyer, Alabama solo Steven Brom, told the Recorder the check he received purporting to be from Eagle Power even had a phony 800 number for Citibank with an automated line that tells inquirers that their checks are legitimate.

Some lawyers found out about similar scams after it was too late. They include Houston lawyer Richard Howell Jr. and Atlanta lawyer Gregory Bartko.

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