header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 12
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue


Commentary Carl Kanowsky, Esq.
| Thursday, Jun 6, 2019

Carl Kanowsky, Esq.

Greed or sloth can lead to the unintended separation of you and your money. This truth guides some current schemes targeted at those who lust after easy money.

Squarely in the crosshairs is the greedy attorney. Now I know, all of you are aghast that there might actually be such practitioners of the law. Sorry to disabuse those so trusting, but yes, unfortunately, these scoundrels do exist. And there are those attorneys who, while not necessarily greedy, are simply lazy.

There are reports of attorneys losing tens of millions of dollars to flimflam artists.

Even those of us who pride ourselves on trying valiantly and ethically to represent our clients can become targets. Let me explain a recent effort aimed at me.

Potential client (we’ll call him Bill; not sure what his real name is) emails me, saying he used to live in Canyon Country. While living out here, he worked for a publicly traded retailer as an assistant store manager. During his tenure at the store, the sister of the company’s CEO also worked there. Well, apparently sister-woman took a hankering to Bill, making her interest and intentions quite well known, including by groping poor Bill.

Bill, shocked by such behavior, complained to his regional supervisor. Shortly afterward, Bill gets fired. He shoots off an indignant email to the retailer’s HR department. Apparently recognizing their exposure –no pun intended – the company agrees to pay Bill $135,000 for his claim.

A settlement agreement and release are executed, but Bill never gets his cash, despite his repeated demands.

Frustrated, Bill emails me, seeing if I can help recover the promised payment. Skeptical, as this seems like really easy money, I send Bill a retainer agreement on a Tuesday. Two days later, he writes me that he has signed the agreement.

Then something truly bizarre happens.

The chief financial officer of the retailer – now keep in mind that this is a company that does billions in sales annually – emails me less than two hours after Bill’s email about the retainer agreement. Essentially the CFO says, “Sorry for not making this payment earlier; we’ll get it to you next week. To whom do I make the check payable?”

This is the crux of the scam. I’m supposed to deposit the check in my trust account, deduct my fee, and send the balance to Bill.

If I had done that, I am certain that within 30 days I would have learned that the check was bogus. So, rather than making a tidy sum, I would owe my bank the money they had sent to Bill at my instruction. And, of course, Bill would be in the wind.

Smelling a rat, I phoned the headquarters of the major retailer to see if the email actually came from the CFO. Someone from the legal department called me back. It seems I was the second attorney just that day, checking to see if the CFO had sent such an email. Now I knew it was bogus. That was confirmed when the retailer told me that no one named Bill (last name intentionally deleted) had worked at the retailer’s Canyon County store.

Clearly, it was a scam from the beginning. So, don’t expect that just because you are a professional, you are immune to such efforts. Better to abide by the following adage:

“Do not wear yourself out in quest of wealth, stop applying your mind to this. Fix your gaze on it, and it is there no longer, for it is able to sprout wings like an eagle that flies off to the sky” (Proverbs 23: 4-5).

 

Carl Kanowsky of Kanowsky & Associates is an attorney in the Santa Clarita Valley. He may be reached by email at cjk@kanowskylaw.com. Nothing contained herein shall be or is intended to be construed as providing legal advice.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. Jerry Walgamuth says:

    Great article Carl! What happened with the scammer?

  2. Carl Kanowsky says:

    Jerry,

    He never responded to my email when I told him about my phone call to corporate headquarters.

    Carl

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Apr 11, 2024
Have you ever wanted to journey to another country to experience an array of new and unique cultures and customs?
Tuesday, Apr 9, 2024
In bustling Santa Clarita, where many residents lead busy lives and often feel divided and disconnected, there is a growing need for spaces that bring people together, fostering community and hope.
Monday, Apr 8, 2024
Each spring the city of Santa Clarita proudly showcases its cowboy culture and pays homage to its rich Western heritage during the one-of-a-kind Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
Thursday, Apr 4, 2024
Springtime, with all its blossoms and lovely weather is a popular time to get married. If you are looking to say “I do” at this picturesque time of year, look no further than City Hall Ceremonies.
Wednesday, Apr 3, 2024
It is anticipated that the three bylaw changes proposed by the CIF Sports Medicine Advisory Committee will pass this coming Friday, April 5 at the State CIF Federated Council meeting.
Wednesday, Apr 3, 2024
Feel the breeze and take in the sweeping views at the City’s 38th park, Skyline Ranch Park, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue
Have you ever wanted to journey to another country to experience an array of new and unique cultures and customs?
Jason Gibbs | Explore the World at Celebrate!
With a birdie on the final hole, Jonathan Larson won the The Master's University Spring Invitational and lifted The Master's men's team to an 11-stroke victory at the Crystalaire Country Club in Llano, Calif. Tuesday.
Larson Lifts Mustangs to Victory at Spring Invitational
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — A bill that would allow California poll workers and voters to sue over election intimidation is advancing through the Legislature after a Wednesday vote.
Bill Allowing California Poll Workers to Sue Over Intimidation Advances
College of the Canyons moved its win streak to four games after taking down visiting Antelope Valley College by a 14-12 final score in a back-and-forth game at Mike Gillespie Field on Tuesday.
Cougars Survive Slugfest Against AVC 14-12
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency regular board meeting will be held Tuesday, April 16, at 6 p.m.
April 16: SCV Water Public Hearing on Mandatory Recycled Water Ordinance
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency’s Public Outreach and Legislation Committee is holding an in-person meeting Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m.
April 18: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
Offering a look into Los Angeles through his eyes, photographer and director Estevan Oriol will talk about his journey as an artist and his photography during a visit next week to California State University, Northridge. 
Celebrated Photographer Estevan Oriol to Speak at CSUN
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, April 17, for an unforgettable evening of networking and fun at Sand Canyon Country Club, located in the picturesque foothills of the Angeles National Forest.
April 17: SCV Chamber After Hours Mixer
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday his bill to help reduce overcrowding at animal shelters across the state, by expanding access to low and no-cost spay/neuter services, was approved in the Senate Education Committee.
Wilk’s Animal Shelter Overcrowding Bill Clears First Hurdle
City of Santa Clarita residents are invited to register for the Neighborhood Cleanup taking place on Saturday, April 27, and join the City in removing litter from their local neighborhoods.
Pre-Register Now for 2024 Neighborhood Cleanup Day
College of the Canyons student-athletes Nicole Lerma (women's swim and dive) and Domenik Cervantes (baseball) have been named the COC Athletic Department's Women's and Men's Student-Athletes of the Week for the period running April 1-6.
COC Names Nicole Lerma, Domenik Cervantes Athletes of the Week
In celebration of Earth Day, Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors is partnering with Heal the Bay to host Kids Beach Cleanup event at Dockweiler Beach on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., rain or shine.  
April 13: L.A. County’s Kids Beach Cleanup
1987 - Ramona Chapel and Red Schoolhouse relocated to Santa Clarita History Center in Hart Park [story]
Red Schoolhouse
The city of Santa Clarita hosting several art exhibits, as well as seeking artists for an upcoming gallery.
Call for Art, Upcoming Arts Exhibitions
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cautions residents who are planning to visit the below Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters:
Ocean Water Warning for April 10
Circle K will offer 40 cents off per gallon of fuel between 4 and 7 p.m. local time Thursday, April 11 during Circle K Fuel Day Pop-Up and 50% off on car washes all day at over 200 participating Circle K locations including Los Angeles.
April 11: Spring into Savings with 40 Cents Off Gas at Circle K
This third study by SMU DataArts analyzing the demographic makeup of the arts and cultural workforce in L.A. County finds a significant shift toward greater racial and ethnic diversity since 2019, particularly at the leadership level.
County Releases Data on Arts and Culture Workforce
The William S. Hart Union High School District is proud to announce that Nicole Jolicoeur, Rio Norte Junior High School Special Education Teacher, has been selected as the 2024/25 Hart District Teacher of the Year.
Nicole Jolicoeur Selected As 2024/25 Hart District Teacher of the Year
The SCV Aerospace & Defense Forum is partnering with ITT Aerospace to hold a networking breakfast and site tour of their Valencia facility.
April 16: SCV Aerospace & Defense Forum to host ITT Aerospace Tour
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation has released their Q4 2023 Economic Snapshot. 
SCVEDC Releases Economic Snapshot for Q4 2023
The Golden Valley High School Performing Arts Department presents cult favorite Little Shop of Horrors, a musical about a flower shop in a rough and rundown neighborhood that is taken over by a flesh-eating plant from outer space.
April 17: Golden Valley Presents ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to commemorate the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by proclaiming April 24, 2024 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. 
April 24: Supes Proclaim Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
1909 - Oil Pioneer Wallace L. Hardison killed in collision with train [story]
Wallace Hardison
SCVNews.com