Con artists say they live abroad and need help collecting money from a debtor or a legal settlement. [snip]The Nigerian scams that have fouled everyone's inbox since the 1990's are variants of this scheme. There's a pile of money that the foreign national can't access because of banking or legal restrictions. They need the target to play the role of middle man--for which he will be compensated handsomely--to get the money out. The victim thinks he is taking money off the top; in reality he's just being taken.
Even after doing due diligence, some lawyers fail to discover the scam. They deposit the check into the firm's trust account—a special account for client funds—subtract their fee, and then wire the balance to an overseas bank account, before the law firm's bank realizes the check is a fake or can stop the wire transfer.
It's surprising that lawyers succumb to these deceptions, first, because such frauds have been around a while, and second, because lawyers are trained to be skeptical.
I suppose that, despite the myth, they're human, too, and can fall prey to greed like the rest of us.