June 3, 2010 11:56 AM

Here's 'Jimmy': New York Law Firms Ensnared by Petty Scam

Posted by Ross Todd

A two-bit scammer has conned about two dozen New York city firms over the past 30 days, according to a letter the chief deputy director of the New York State Insurance Fund sent The New York Law Journal this week.

The scam goes something like this: A man using only a first name, usually "Jimmy", phones the firms saying he's visiting from out of state. He claims to have found a package on the subway addressed to the firm from the state's insurance fund.

The scammer offers to deliver the package--which is just a bunch of copies of identical certificates of insurance in a U.S Post Office flat rate envelope--to the law firm. Law firms caught up the scheme have reimbursed the caller up to $80 for cab fare and given him rewards before opening the package to find it full of worthless papers, according to the Insurance Fund letter.

The Am Law Daily's colleague Nate Raymond first reported the story in Thursday's edition of The New York Law Journal's "News in Brief" section. Raymond caught up with Hughes Hubbard & Reed litigation partner Susan Millington Campbell, who was called by a man claiming to be from Atlanta saying he had found a package addressed to her from another firm on the subway. The man offered to take a cab to the firm and drop the package off, if the firm covered his costs. Campbell told the NYLJ she paid him $100 to cover the fare and a tip, and only later opened the envelope and discovered the scam. "I'm a litigation partner," she told the NYLJ. "At any one time you're expecting papers of one sort or another, and you don't want to think that they're on the subway some place lost."

The New York County's district attorney's office and the state insurance fund's division of confidential investigations are investigating the matter. Victims are encourage to call the insurance fund's fraud hot line at (877) 926-9743.

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I'm a legal assistant at a midtown law firm. "Jimmy" called one of our attorneys last month and the poor guys went all the way to the Bronx because he thought it'd be better than paying Jimmy's cab fair. Today, he called again, this time, asking for one of our other attorneys. He must be running out of offices. At any rate, I hope he can be stopped.

Jimmy called us too - we got his cell phone number while we "waited to get the expense approved" however I couldn't reach anyone at the insurance hotline listed above and no one returned my voicemail, the DA's office didn't have a clue and of course 911 doesn't care until AFTER the crime has been committed.

646-626-0479 if you want to call Jimmy and tell him you found a package and want him to pay your cab fare...

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