Have we grown weary of wire fraud?

Wire fraud weariness?; Business filing fraud help; Do you really want to prepare that document? Now Available in an Audio Version!

Dear Members,

Wire fraud and cybercrime continue to be hot topics in the industry. Throw in some continuing problems with business filings fraud on the Division of Corporations website and you have a perfect recipe for stressful days and nights. And I have another case for your reading pleasure.

Wire fraud weariness?

I used to hear stories every week from Members about close calls they had with attempted (or successful) cyber fraud in connection with a closing. But it has gone rather silent lately. Are we becoming immune to this and not talking about it? I HOPE NOT. I want to hear from you so that I can keep up with the types of things you are facing and formulate ways to help you. Would you be willing to take the time to send me your experiences? If so, send an email to my assistant, Gisselle Burbine, at Gburbine@thefund.com. I have asked her to collect your stories.

Business filing fraud help.

Fraudulent changes to entity information on Sunbiz.org is another insidious type of business fraud. Criminals were changing the names of the officers, directors, members and managers, the mailing and email addresses, too! They would then use this fraudulent information to obtain loans and use property owned by the entity as collateral.

Until July 1, 2018, the Division of Corporations was not required to send notice when changes were made. But thanks to a new law, when changes are made in these filings, notice will be sent to the mailing and electronic addresses for the principal(s). You will want to make sure your clients keep their information up to date on Sunbiz.org so they will get notice of any filings. There are deadlines to file corrective information if a fraudulent filing is made. Here is a link to the new law.

Do you really want to prepare that document?

Last week I included a link to a case about the FR BAR "As Is" contract and several of you were appreciative that I brought it to your attention. Here's another case of interest. Short version: a private lender agreed to loan money secured by a mortgage on 5 commercial properties. Title agent (non-attorney) was hired to do the closing and issue lender's title insurance policy. Title agent asked/hired/retained an attorney to prepare the note and mortgage. Attorney prepared documents but did not have the legal description. Title agent attached the legal description and, of course, there was a material mistake with the legal. So……. was there an attorney-client relationship? Was the attorney negligent? This was a summary judgment reversal, so we don't know the ultimate outcome, but it should make you think twice before you "just" prepare documents.

Have a good week and let me know how we can help you.

Melissa Jay Murphy
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
General Counsel and Secretary 08/07/2018