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The Typical Counterfeit Check Case

The typical counterfeit cashier’s check case involves an attorney who is contacted by a fraudster posing as a new client.

The “new client” wants to retain the attorney to collect a debt or past-due alimony or some other obligation.

Within days of being retained, the supposed debtor agrees to pay the obligation and sends the attorney what on its face appears to be a cashier’s check.

The attorney is asked to deposit the cashier’s check, retain his or her fee and then immediately wire transfers the balance of the cashier’s check to the client or to a third party designated by the client.

The attorney deposits the cashier’s check into an attorney trust account and within a day or two instructs his or her bank to wire transfer a portion of the proceeds to the client.

In accordance with the federal Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) and Federal Reserve Regulation CC, the bank is required to make the funds represented by the cashier’s check available for the attorney’s use by the second business day following the business day of deposit (next business day if the attorney used a “special deposit slip” available from the bank).

The bank wire transfers the funds as requested and a few days later the deposited cashier’s check is returned unpaid to the bank as a counterfeit.

The bank charges back the attorney’s trust account for the amount of the returned counterfeit cashier’s check or demands repayment of the funds if the attorney has insufficient funds in the trust account.

The next step usually litigation between the bank and attorney over the responsibility for the loss.

 

You need me as your Counterfeit Check Case Expert Witness

I am an Expert Witness Specializing in Banking Matters Involving Forged and Counterfeit Checks, Funds Transfers, Deposit Accounts, and Teller and Branch Operations. 

I served as the in-house deposit and operations counsel at two “top 20” banks. Previously, I held similar positions at several multi-billion-dollar asset-size banks, including service as the general counsel of two national banks.

Overall, I have a total of 43 years of experience in banking – 36 years as an in-house counsel for banks and another 7 years as a bank internal auditor and as an examiner for the New Jersey Department of Banking.

 

Prior Significant Engagements

  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Corporate Check Case
    Facts: The plaintiff law firm received from a new client a check for a large amount payable to the law firm purporting to be drawn on the account of a major corporation. The law firm maintained its attorney trust account at the same bank as the new client. The law firm deposited the check into ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Official Check (Draft) Case
    Facts: The plaintiff law firm received from a new client a foreign draft for a large amount payable to the plaintiff law firm purporting to be drawn on a foreign bank holding company in England.   The draft on its face claimed to be an “official check” of the foreign company.  The client directed the plaintiff ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Foreign Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts:  The plaintiff law firm received from a new client what purported to be a cashier’s check drawn on a Canadian bank.   The foreign cashier’s check on its face claimed to be “payable through” a U.S. affiliate bank of the Canadian bank.  The U.S. affiliate bank listed on the face of the check did not ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts:  The plaintiff law firm received from a new client a check purporting to be a Citibank cashier’s check for a large amount payable to the law firm.  The client directed the firm to deposit the check and wire transfer a substantial portion of the proceeds to a third party corporate entity in South Korea.  ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts:  The defendant was a law firm that received an e-mail advising the firm that a foreign entity was seeking legal assistance in a collection matter.  The law firm accepted the engagement.  A few days later, the representative of the alleged foreign entity advised the law firm that its debtor wished to make a voluntary ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts:  The plaintiff law firm (“Plaintiff”) was retained by a person in Japan who claimed to be the “administrative executive” of a foreign entity.  The purpose of the retention was allegedly for Plaintiff to collect debts owed to the foreign entity from various companies located in the United States.  After Plaintiff agreed to collect these ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Official Check (Draft) Case
    Facts: The plaintiff law firm received from a new client a foreign draft for a large amount payable to the plaintiff law firm purporting to be drawn on a foreign bank holding company in England.   The draft on its face claimed to be an “official check” of the foreign company.  The client directed the plaintiff ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts: The plaintiff was a law firm. In early 2009, Plaintiff received from a new client a check for a large amount payable to Plaintiff purporting to be a Citibank cashier’s check. The client directed Plaintiff to deposit the check and wire transfer a substantial portion of the proceeds to a third party corporate entity ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts: In September 2010, the defendant law firm received an e-mail from the website Findlaw advising him that a foreign entity was seeking legal assistance in a collection matter. The law firm accepted the engagement. A few days later, the representative of the alleged foreign entity advised the law firm that its debtor wished to ...
  • Law Firm – Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Case
    Facts: In March of 2008, the plaintiff law firm (“Plaintiff”) was retained by a person in Japan who claimed to be the “administrative executive” of a foreign entity. The purpose of the retention was allegedly for Plaintiff to collect debts owed to the foreign entity from various companies located in the United States. ...