Orlando Law Firm Defrauded out of $285,833.34
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a civil forfeiture action has been filed to recover $285,833.34 that was fraudulently obtained from the law firm of Kaufman, Englett, and Lynd, PLLC (KEL).
According to the affidavit supporting the civil forfeiture complaint, in July 2011, a man who identified himself as “David Benson,” sought legal assistance from KEL to obtain promised wages from his former employer, “Fred Sanders.” (Both names are believed to be aliases.) In August 2011, KEL received a settlement check from Sanders in the amount of $285,833.34, on behalf of Benson. Benson requested that the funds be sent to him at an account he held at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to the funds clearing, KEL sent the funds to Benson’s account in Japan. However, the check provided by Sanders turned out to be a counterfeit check.
In an effort to recover the funds from Benson’s account in Japan, the United States initiated this instant civil forfeiture action. Because Japan is not able to enforce a civil forfeiture judgment, the United States had to seize funds from Shinsei Bank’s correspondent account held at JPMorgan Chase Bank, New York. The United States now seeks the forfeiture of those funds on the basis that they represent the proceeds of Benson and Sander’s wire fraud scheme. The United States bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the funds represent the proceeds of a wire fraud scheme.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service (USSS). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicole M. Andrejko.