Feeds

Texas lawyer sues Citibank over fake cheque scam

'I'm a capital 'D' Dumbass', admits fleeced victim of Lads from Lagos

Security for virtualized datacentres

A Houston lawyer is suing Citibank after being taken for $182,500 by email scammers claiming to be a debt-chasing Japanese company, Texas Lawyer reports.

Richard T Howell Jr, of Buckley, White, Castaneda & Howell, fell for a classic cheque fraud scam. His "Japanese" contacts claimed they were pursuing four outstanding debts in the US - a total of $3.6m of which Howell would collect a healthy percentage for helping process the funds.

The scammers duly informed Howells that one debtor had agreed to stump part of what it owed, $367,500, and a "Citibank Official Check" for that amount subsequently arrived, which Howells deposited into one of his firm's account at the Sterling Bank in Houston.

Howell claims that an employee of his firm "telephoned Citibank and verified that check number 310096829 in the amount of $367,500 was paid". Howell then made a "wire transfer of $182,500 to a supplier of [the Japanese company] in Hong Kong".

Shortly afterwards, Sterling Bank informed him the cheque had been returned as "counterfeit", by which time it was too late to stop the wire transfer. Howells said he then "emailed the client but got no reply".

He admitted: "I'm a capital 'D' Dumbass."

While Howell has no chance of retrieving the lost cash, he is taking Citibank to task over the dodgy cheque. In December last year, his firm "sued Citibank in state court in Houston, alleging the New York bank was negligent and engaged in negligent misrepresentation when it represented to Howell that a $367,000 check - that was supposed to be a payment to Howell's client from a customer - had cleared when, in fact, it was a bogus check".

Howell is seeking "$182,500 in actual damages for Citibank's alleged negligence" plus "a minimum of $367,000 in punitive damages".

Citibank has denied the allegations and wants a "take-nothing judgment". The bank's attorney, Yasmin Atasi, insisted: "We are not liable for those funds."

The case is due to be heard in July. Texas Lawyer has further details of the scam and litigation here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.