Apparently some lawyers do fall prey to Nigerian scams. In all fairness, this scam was so good, that the lawsuit launched by the law firm claims even the bank, Wells Fargo, did not notice the errors.

A law firm in Minnesota is suing the bank for the $400,000 it lost in a scam that has allegedly cost 80 law firms and attorneys at least $31 million.

Apparently the scam was proliferated thusly: a phony client contacts a law firm in order to get help collecting a debt. The firm, after being hired, demands the payment from the debtor who, as it turns out, is really a co-conspirator of the "client." When the "debtor" sends in the check to satisfy the settlement, the law firm deposits it and deducts the fees it has earned on the case. The firm then sends along the remaining balance to the "client," who is nowhere to be found by the time anyone realizes that the original check from the "debtor" is fake. Thus, the law firm's bank account is drained in the amount that the "remaining" balance was for.

The Minnesota law firm claims that it was defrauded by a con artist posing as a 40-year-old Korean woman who claims she was injured in an accident while in Minnesota, and was allegedly owed money from a settlement. Authorities believe she was part of a ring headed by Emmanuel Ekhator, an alleged criminal whom Nigeria recently agreed to extradite to the U.S.

The Minnesota firm claims Wells Fargo should have noticed the multiple red flags, including numerous misspellings on the check, and the fact that it had evidence of similar scams since 2009.  Wells Fargo released a statement saying, "We believe the allegations have no merit[.] We will vigorously defend, and expect to prevail."

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