NEW YORK, July 3 (Reuters) - More than $495,000 has gone
missing from a bank account belonging to the law firm Boies,Schiller & Flexner, according to a lawsuit filed in federal
court in Manhattan by a bank involved in the case.
Boies Schiller, the home of litigator David Boies, contends
the funds were withdrawn without authorization and possibly
fraudulently, the lawsuit said. The suit was filed on Monday by
Wells Fargo & Co, which sought indemnity from JPMorgan Chase &Co for a $495,000 loss.
Dawn Schneider, a spokeswoman for Boies Schiller, said in a
statement that the firm, "an innocent bystander in all this, has
been fully reimbursed for these fraudulent transactions." Boies,
Schiller is not a party to the lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo did not respond to a request
for comment. JPMorgan declined to comment through a spokesman.
According to the lawsuit, the funds were transferred in
five transactions between Jan. 25 and 28, 2011, to the JPMorgan
account of InstaPayPlan LLC, a Utah-based company focused on
allowing bank-to-bank transactions between jewelry sellers and
Mike Robertson, the founder of InstaPayPlan, said in an
interview that he was contacted at the time by a person calling
himself Devrin Anderson, who claimed to be a lawyer with Boies
Robertson said Anderson, who is named in the lawsuit,
claimed that Boies Schiller was assisting in liquidating a
client's jewelry estate and needed assistance transferring the
funds. He had bank account numbers for Boies Schiller.
Robertson said he did due diligence on the transaction,
given its size, and verified the account numbers.
But Boies Schiller did not have any employees named Devrin
Anderson. "I assume it's a phony name," Robertson said.
Boies Schiller notified Wells Fargo on Feb. 1, 2011, that it
did not authorize the five transactions. Wells Fargo
subsequently canceled a sixth transfer, for $110,045, that was
in process at the time.
At Wells Fargo's request, JPMorgan subsequently provided a
copy of a purported electronic funds transfer agreement between
InstaPayPlan and "Anderson Consulting-Boies Schiller," the
But while the agreement had Boies Schiller's account number,
it did not have other required information and was signed by a
person who did not work at the law firm, according to the
Robertson said he was never contacted by the Federal Bureau
of Investigation or other authorities over the matter.
Wells Fargo said JPMorgan has refused to reverse the five
transactions or credit Wells Fargo for the $495,027 lost. Wells
Fargo is seeking that sum plus costs and attorneys fees.
The case is Wells Fargo Bank, NA v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA,
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No.
For Wells Fargo: Peter Ragone and John Foudy, Rosner Nocera
(Reporting by Nate Raymond)
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