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  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Default Charged With Larceny and Forgery After Falling for a Check Cashing Scam

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia
    I have become a victim of a Nigerian Check Cashing Scam.

    I was befriended by a man on an internet dating site who stated he would employ me. Long story short: She received USPS mail with a check in the amount of $2988.00. The check cleared her checking in a check cashing store without any difficulty. I was instructed to send most of the money overseas to Nigeria and keep a small portion. As this is what my job would entail. Receiving money and sending the majority of it.

    Upon further investigation, I found out that the check obtained from a counterfeit check, which was initially sent to someone in New York. The counterfeit check was cashed at a New York checking cashing agency.

    The counterfeit check originated from a fake athletic company. I am now charged with Larceny and Forgery. I have tried to express to the police and my public defender that i receivied the check in the mail and did not forge the check. Nor did I know that the check was fraudulent.

    Please help me come up with a legal argument to show I was a victim of this scam and should not be charged or punished for this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    35,894

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    You need to be speaking to your attorney. There is an active criminal case and nobody here can help you formulate a defense, or even hint at ways to do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,728

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    was befriended by a man on an internet dating site who stated he would employ me. Long story short: She received USPS mail with a check in the amount of $2988.00. The check cleared her checking in a check cashing store without any difficulty.
    So did this happen to you or “she”?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    2

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    This is still pending

    Thank you. Its just i was hoping for some advice as my own attorney seems to have trouble with the idea that i feel for a scam. Despite the printed emails i shown my attorney about this check cashing scam being prestened as a job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,406

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    Quote Quoting Brickly
    View Post
    This is still pending

    Thank you. Its just i was hoping for some advice as my own attorney seems to have trouble with the idea that i feel for a scam. Despite the printed emails i shown my attorney about this check cashing scam being prestened as a job.

    Your attorney is in the best position to determine what defenses you may have. As you have described it here your defense is seemingly that you were duped by this man. Convincing a jury of that might not be easy. It is fairly well known that a lot of internet scams originate out of Nigeria; that country has a whole industry in that sort of fraud. Moreover, it should have raised your suspicion that something was wrong if your job involved cashing checks for this guy. Why would he need to pay someone simply to cash checks for him? That’s something he could easily do himself and not have to pay anyone. The answer to that is he only needs help if the check is fraudulent or stolen. A jury may believe that you must have been in on it because you should have otherwise known it was a likely scam and declined to participate in it. The fact that you made a little money from it rather than losing money helps the prosecutor make that case. This is not to say that your lawyer won’t be able to make a winning case for you, but it’s not a slam dunk for you.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Why would he need to pay someone simply to cash checks for him? That’s something he could easily do himself and not have to pay anyone.
    That's a very fair question, but thousands of people have nonetheless fallen for this scam, usually with the consequence of being required to repay all of the money they sent to the scammer and often having their bank accounts closed. This isn't a new scam.

    If this entire process involved only one check, there is an email exchange that can be reasonably authenticated by IP address and other information to substantiate correspondence with the person behind the fraud, and there is a clear record of payment of the agreed percentage to the person behind the fraud, then that evidence can be used to support the contention that you're a victim and not actively involved in the fraud. Whether or not a prosecutor will believe it? That will depend upon the prosecutor and the full facts of the case.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    7,406

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    That's a very fair question, but thousands of people have nonetheless fallen for this scam, usually with the consequence of being required to repay all of the money they sent to the scammer and often having their bank accounts closed.
    Yes, unfortunately scammers do seem to find people to bite on these schemes. Even if only few people out of thousands or millions of e-mails sent fall for a scam it’s still very profitable for the criminals. When asked to get involved in anything financial over the internet people really need to be wary and look for the warning signs of fraud. If the situation appears to be too good to be true or is one in which it would not make sense for for the promoter to do if the transaction was legit then it is almost certainly a scam. In the end limiting your financial dealings to persons whom you know and trust and established businesses with an established track record of honest business and avoiding dealing with persons you’ve just met on the internet is a good practice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Re: Nigerian Check Cashing Scam

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    That's a very fair question, but thousands of people have nonetheless fallen for this scam,
    Having investigated probably two dozen or so similar cases, I question how many people have actually “fallen” for these scams. When I interview suspects who have tried to cash these checks, I try to ask a few specific questions:
    1. “Didn’t you have suspicions that this was a bad check – didn’t it seem a bit fishy?” Of those suspects who have agreed to answer questions, I am still at 100% who admit that they at least suspected that something was off.
    2. “Since you were already suspicious, what have you done to try to verify that the check was legitimate?” So far, only one person has given me an answer other than some variation of “I decided to try to cash it and see what happened” – meaning they decided to attempt a forgery/fraud crime in spite of their admitted suspicions. Only one person stated their suspicions up front at the check cashing place and asked if the check could be verified legitimate BEFORE trying to cash it – and that person didn’t get arrested or suffer any other negative consequence (go figure).
    3. “After the communication you have had with (person who sent them the check), would you send THEM a check for this amount and just trust them to not simply keep ALL your money?” Again, 100% “No” response.

    With that track record, it doesn’t seem to me that many people are actually being duped. Rather, they at least suspect that they are participating in a crime but, out of greed, decide to do it anyway. It would be easy to state up front when cashing the check, “Hey, these are the circumstances under which I got this check and I’m suspicious. Can you check it out for me and see if it is legit before I try to cash it?” Reasonable people of even below average intelligence develop reasonable suspicions when getting lured into these scams – but, the prospect of easy cash tempts them into doing it anyway. To my way of thinking, that is quite different than “falling for” or being a “victim” of the scam. So far, it seems that both prosecutors and juries agree with me.
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