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Goldberg Segalla’s Relentless Advocacy Saves Swindled Construction Company from Costly Loss

Case Study

Goldberg Segalla’s Relentless Advocacy Saves Swindled Construction Company from Costly Loss

Goldberg Segalla partner Michael Appelbaum’s zealous and dogged pursuit of justice on behalf of his client — along with partner Marc Brown’s deep experience in cybercrime investigations — resulted in a construction company swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars being made whole again.

In fact, not only did the company recoup its losses in full, it was able to avert the courtroom and costly litigation entirely thanks to Goldberg Segalla’s fierce persistence.

The case unfolded when the client contacted Mike, reporting it had been swindled out of some $60,000 in connection with construction services the company was hired to provide to a business in Florida. Several installments for work performed by our client were paid initially by wire transfer to our client. But the day before the final invoice was to be paid, the Florida business received what turned out to be a fraudulent email that claimed to have been sent by our client. The bogus email provided new wire-transfer instructions for the $60,000 payment. Unfortunately, the customer accepted the email as legitimate and never called our client to confirm, or question, the new payment instructions, which would have been best practice.  Thus, the customer paid the $60,000 to the new account.

When our client questioned the customer about the missing payment, the customer immediately accused our client of fraud, maintaining they should bear no responsibility for the lost funds, and even going so far as to accuse a specific individual employee of the construction company who was handling the account of theft.

Knowing that time was of the essence, Mike immediately reached out to the Florida business, hoping it would assist in the effort to recover the funds since it would have the ability to contact their bank to start an investigation. Mike also asked the business to contact law enforcement authorities in regard to the fraudulent email it received. But rather than cooperate, the customer refused to help in anyway. Instead, they reported our client to the police, claiming it had committed the fraud.

Upon receiving the customer’s response, Mike knew the time for diplomacy was over. So, he notified the Florida business that our client would be filing a lawsuit since the money was still owed under terms of the contract. And given that the business also was obstructing Goldberg Segalla’s efforts to investigate and potentially recover the funds, Mike immediately contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mike’s actions convinced the business that Goldberg Segalla was not going to back down. So, it finally reported the theft to the police and to its bank. With a police report now filed, Mike was able to speak with a Florida police investigator and turn him away from the customer’s claim that our client was responsible for the fraud. Once redirected, the investigator was able to contact both banks involved — the one that sent the funds and the one that received them. Remarkably, the perpetrator had not yet withdrawn the funds and Mike was able to recover $58,000.

Mike’s fervent and tireless advocacy on behalf of his client — combined with his decision to mobilize quickly and join forces with Marc Brown, whose deep knowledge of cybercrime investigation and litigation was instrumental in successfully resolving the case —  underscores the depth of Goldberg Segalla’s experience and commitment to working collaboratively every step of the way with our clients to achieve their goals.