Feeds

Texas lawyer sues Citibank over fake cheque scam

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?