Tort Law

Bank sues attorney and others over $570K wired to Japan in alleged Internet fraud by 'client'

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An Illinois attorney, apparently victimized by a fake client in an Internet scam involving purported settlement payments in a divorce case, has been sued over $570,000 he allegedly wired to Japan without adequate inquiry.

Filed last week in federal court in Chicago, the suit by Federal Insurance Company and First American Bank contends that David Goodson was negligent in his handling of two fraudulent “First American” cashier’s checks sent to him from Canada, according to Courthouse News and a Justia case docket.

The suit also names as defendants the Federal Reserve of Atlanta and RBS Citizens, N.A., doing business as Charter One.

It contends that RBS, where Goodson apparently deposited the checks and then allegedly had the money wired to Japan, has indemnified the real First American for one phony cashier’s check in the amount of $86,178.96. However, RBS refused to do so concerning a second phony check for $486,750.33, the suit says. It also seeks damages for negligent spoliation of evidence, claiming that RBS destroyed the $486,750.33 check.

“Both checks were purportedly drawn by First Aid Corporation on its account at First American. Upon information and belief, Goodson caused RBS Citizens to wire funds represented by these checks to Japan after he retained a portion of the funds as a ‘fee,’ even though he had done no legal work to justify any such fees,” the complaint alleges.

The Courthouse News article doesn’t include comment from any of the defendants, and Goodson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon by the ABA Journal.

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