If You're Committing Fraud, I Won't Help You
Earlier today, I got what was hands-down, the most ridiculous phone call seeking legal services in New York that I have ever received. Here are the pertinent facts: This guy (we'll call him "A') was mistakenly over-billed by a company (we'll call them "C") for services that they rendered. Simple enough, right? But this was no ordinary mistake. Instead of billing him $700, they billed him $700,000. Oops. C then tries to rectify the situation by reversing the process. Only now, they erroneously credit A with $700,000. This is where I get called. A asks, "Shouldn't C have to negotiate with me in order to get their money back?" After I finish scanning the room for the Candid Camera and my laughter ebbs, I respond, "No; you realize you actually have to return the money because it was never yours to begin with." But wait it gets better. (And here's the REAL reason for the call). "Well, Mr. Cooper, what if I told you that I already spent some of the money?" (More laughter ensues). After my laughter subsides a second time and I got off the phone with this guy (and hopefully convinced him that he has to return every last penny) I was troubled by something he said. You see, he had started off our conversation by telling me that he read a lot of my articles online. And, if what he said was true, I had to wonder: what if anything gave him the impression that I or anyone for that matter would help him?
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