I love watching the CNBC show titled American Greed. I have a keen interest in understanding financial crimes and how criminals work financial scams. With the most recent lawyer Ponzi schemer out of Waterloo everyone is watching what we do. Almost two years ago a man tried scamming me out of $750 over a personal injury lawsuit. It didn't work but he had me hooked on the hunt to figure out his identity. And so since talking to him while sitting in a dental chair in November 2013 I have been hooked on identifying him.
I am happy to report I know who you are Javontae.
SCAM WARNING: In November 2013 I posted this original post about a scam being practiced on lawyers and their office staff. An alleged FedEx employee claims to have been seriously injured while making a delivery to a Walmart store. His claim includes a Sedgwick adjuster Robert Johnson and a landlord, Mr. Jackson whose wife allegedly has stage 4 breast cancer. There is a brother going by the name of Tyrone and his mother, Sandra. The scam is to get the lawyer to send the landlord money cards, Green Dot money cards you buy from Walgreens, in order to help him catch up on his rent. He wants you to be his lawyer; but if he cannot pay his rent, he will be forced to settle his case. You are supposed to be his savior. But really he wants you to be his sucker.
CAVEAT EMPTOR: If this were a scam being played on old ladies and retirees the FBI and local authorities might care. But I doubt they do and further predict even if they knew who he was they would not care enough to stop him. Because after all we are just a bunch of lawyers.
Javontae (or whatever name is currently using) is an alias for a man living in Lowndes County, Mississippi. He has been arrested previously and has been paroled for other crimes. He stands approximately 6’ 4” tall is in his mid-forties (45) and recently seems desperate enough to be making enough mistakes that I can now identify him or one of his accomplices. My opinion is he has no accomplices, but without further confirmation I would be unwilling to say he works alone. Just know this Javontae, I know your name, in which county you live, that you have been arrested and for what you were charged. I have your mug shot. I have even spoken to the local sheriff. Your scam is losing steam.
UNITED STATES: I have tracked this scam artist through interviews with lawyers in Iowa, Illinois, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Washington, California, Utah, Missouri, Mississippi, Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Texas, Louisiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, Delaware, Tennessee, Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey.
ALIASES: His aliases include: Javontae Holloway, Terrell Holloway, Javontae Gowdy, Troy Williams, Troy Johnson, Devantae Gowdy, Devonte Growey, Javontae Growley, William Roberts, Randy Weeks, Randy Lee Williams, Randy Williams, Calvin Thomas and Randy Lee Williams.
The adjuster is alleged to be a Robert Johnson who works for Sedgwick Claims. I have tracked down the adjuster with this name who does work for Sedgwick and there is no such case although he was aware his name was being used.
MECHANISM OF MONEY TRANSACTION/TRANSFER: Green Dot Cards and Western Union money transfers.
INJURY: Paraplegic or paraplegia.
MECHANISM OF INJURY: Involves a FedEx semi-truck, a Walmart store, a forklift, or an accident where he is pinned between the rear of the semi-trailer and the loading dock. It could also include Lowes. The accident will always happen at a big box store in the lawyer’s general market area, but the potential client will not always know the roads and the area. He will give incorrect information and when you catch him, and start asking too many questions his burner phone will suddenly disconnect. "Oops, sorry my battery went dead."
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
- Landlord: Mr. Jackson
- Sympathy Card Being Played: Javontae will have to settle to avoid being evicted from his apartment. The owner of the apartment is Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson holds you off from hating him by saying his wife has stage 4 breast cancer and the rent money is needed to purchase her prescription drugs.
- Javontae’s Brother: Tyrone drives Javontae around and will have the car running, warming up so he can take Javontae to sign the release of all claims.
- Javontae’s Mother: Sandra Gowdy
OFFER: Offer is $650,000 to $750,000 and has been as low as $350,000; Even thought the case is worth a lot more he is pressured to sign the settlement documents the next day to avoid being evicted and then put in a nursing home. “I don’t want to go to no nursing home Mr. Lombardi. Can you please help me sir? Oh wait, Tyrone was warming up the car because we have to go to meet Mr. Johnson.”
ADDRESSES HE GIVES:
- 133 Maple Street, Columbus, MS.
- 135 Maple Street, Columbus, MS
- 111 Alvin Street, Napoleonville, LA 70390
- Napoleon, 111 East Little Texas Road, Louisiana 70390
- Napoleon, 111 East Little Texas Road, Louisiana 70390
- Jackson, Mississippi
- 749 Carpenter Street, Memphis, Tennessee
- 133 Maple St. Columbus MS 39702
- 133 Maple St. Columbus MS 39702
- A release was provided to one lawyer and it was allegedly sent from: Napoleonville, Assumption County, Alabama. I have a copy of the release.
PHONE NUMBERS USED:
- Larry Jackson’s number has changed to 601-650-6938
Adjuster’s phone numbers include:
- 901 267 9739
Dates of birth and social security numbers:
- Troy Williams. DOB: 9-12-1987
- Troy Johnson, DOB: 9/12/87 and soc 438-XX-XXXX
- Troy Williams (D/O/B 10/5/87)
- Troy Johnson DOB is 9/12/87 and soc 438-XX-XXXX.
- Social Security Numbers: I have two instances where he gave a SSN and in both instances they were the same and started with 438. The number 438 corresponds to it being issued in Louisiana.
- Sedgwick can’t represent and release both WalMart and FedEx.
- Sedgwick can’t release its liability without FedEx (the workers’ compensation insurer) signing off and with another surgery in the works FedEx would never consent to such a low settlement.
- The phones being used are burner phones; they have limited minutes so for this number to be useful they need to last through the entire scam. As the lawyer tries to do the interview the minutes are getting eaten up and sooner or later this burner will be empty. This is a concern to the potential client attempting to commit the fraud so he needs to shorten the times or else run out of minutes and need a new burner phone. The excuse is the battery needs recharging. Of course the burner phone is used because it’s untraceable. Lawyers should never cut short their initial interview. Getting the facts is important.
- Few facts are given by the potential client.
- Then there is the problem of phone numbers. First you’ll never get the adjuster, because he doesn’t exist. Listen carefully because you may be talking with the same person who takes on the characters of Javontae, Mr. Jackson, Tyrone and Robert Johnson. When you attempt to telephone this adjuster all you will get is a voice mail where you will be told to just leave a message or provide a fax number. When you push zero it will never go through to a receptionist, like it would with a real insurance company phone system.
- The phone numbers this potential client provides do not match up with real adjusters who do actually exist. In this instance although there was a voice mail message for a Robert Johnson at the 901-485-6761 phone number it was bogus and used an incorrect area code. Of course the phone number for the real Mr. Johnson in Memphis had an 866 area code.
- These are unsophisticated people who really don’t understand how the system works and this is one instance where Medicare and Social Security provide a nice backstop. If you understand a Medicare Set-aside [MSA] you will understand why this scenario is impossible. If you don’t understand the MSA then associate with a lawyer who does. The basis of this fraud is urgency; unless the lawyer acts the client will sign away his very valuable case for little money. But none of this should make much sense. As an example if the client has applied or is receiving Medicare they are not allowed to settle the case without first doing a Medicare Set Aside and so there can be no quick settlement without the MSA. In this case none had been done so this release would be voidable or worse yet, you, the lawyer would be sued by the SSA.
- Addresses can be a give-away. Addresses on E. 6th Street, Natchitoches, LA does exist. I checked it out on Google. [http://goo.gl/maps/trljR] This potential client did provide a street address on East 6th Street in Natchitoches, Louisiana. I won’t give the exact house number just in case there is actually a house there.
- And Mr. Jackson the ruthless landlord lives on Lee Street in Natchitoches, but again I won’t give the exact house number. This address is not shown on Google Maps. [http://goo.gl/maps/LBSZe]
- Po Javontae gave his date of birth as September 4, 1989 which on November 15, 2013 would make him 24 years old. When asked his age he reported it to be 25.
- Weekly Compensation Rate was a rounded number, which it never is. It can be $478.34 but not exactly $478.00.
- When I start really digging for details the phone goes dead without explanation.
- The bottom line is never advance a client or potential client funds in order to get a client to sign up with you.
- Always do a complete interview to obtain facts to know the claim is legitimate.
- Use social media and a Google search to try and locate details that an accident has been reported.
- Be methodical about developing the facts and follow the procedures you’ve created.
- If you don’t really understand the law in an area of personal injury or workers’ compensation associate with an attorney that does. We do a lot of referral work and enjoy working with local attorneys on their cases. If we can help you give us a call.
The Scam – What is it that makes this scam involving personal injury somewhat successful?
- The alleged case involves a catastrophic injury.
- The damages will be large enough to get the attention of most lawyers.
- Liability seems clear.
- The attorney fee will be a contingent fee.
- A substantial offer has already been extended.
- Allegedly the case will likely be resolved quickly and easily. (This never happens.)
- The negligent defendant has very deep pockets. (Big box retailers or multi-national companies are involved.)
- There is a small economic hurdle to get over and to get the client signed up.
- There is what could be an ethical problem, (advancing money for living expenses) but really no one will be the wiser because it involves a private transaction.
- There is urgency to the need for legal help – the client is desperate and is willing to settle the case cheaply, unless you act now. (This is how he gets you over the potential ethical problem. It works especially well with bleeding heart types.)
- The immediate problem is easily solved with just the payment of a little money.
- This is a case of a lifetime; a career changing money-maker.
What lawyers are likely to fall for this scam?
- Those who have sloppy intake systems
- Those with a poorly constructed business plan
- Lawyers who are familiar with cutting corners
- Lawyers who are ethically challenged and seeking a way to make easy money
- Lawyers who are inexperienced in personal injury, social security and workers’ compensation law
- Lawyers with a low threshold for what is considered doing your homework
- Lawyers who react without thinking through what they are being asked to do for a would-be client
- Lawyers with money problems or who like to gamble
- Lawyers looking for a free lunch or who care too much for their fellow man
- Young lawyers with high student loan balances vs low revenue streams
- Young lawyers not aware or trying to avoid co-representation with more seasoned lawyers with deeper pockets
- Lawyers who fail to question when something seems too good to be true
- Lawyers who fail to use a simple research tool like the Internet
- Lawyers with debt problems
- Lawyers with drinking or drug problems
- Lawyers who have a naïve view of the world and their fellow men
BLOG LIST: Other blogs about the FedEx and WalMart Scam DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
- November 18, 2013: Law Practice: The Paraplegic Scam and the story of Po Javontae – Des Moines, Iowa.
- December 9, 2013: Breaking News: Javontae's paraplegic scam, moves from Iowa to California! - California
- December 13, 2013: Breaking News: Hot off the Dysfunctional Press from the Lombardi Law Firm! – Spokane, Washington
- December 15, 2013: More Breaking News: Where is Waldo? He’s in New Haven, Connecticut
- December 18, 2013: Does Waldo own a jet? – The Big Apple, New York, New York
- December 21, 2013: Paraplegic scammer attempts his scam on lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland
- January 14, 2014: News Update: Fed Ex and Walmart Scammers in New Jersey
- January 22, 2014: Let’s Rock & Roll with Po Javontae, Baltimore, Maryland - Javontae is back trolling again in Baltimore, Maryland, slight change of reported facts. He’s changed his address to: Napoleon, 111 East Little Texas Road, Louisiana 70390. This lawyer did not bite.
- January 27, 2014: Contacted by lawyers in West Virginia. Legal Scam: Javontae is back, this time in West Virginia
- February 7, 2014: February, 7, 2014: Do Louisianans have too much time on their hands? West Virginia
- February 12, 2014: Guess who is back? You guessed it Javontae! | Lombardi Law Firm – Los Angeles, California
- February 18, 2014: FedEx-WalMart Scam Update: What Babe the Blue Ox Has in Common with Javontae?
- February 24, 2014: Lawyer Scams: What makes them all similar?
- February 25, 2014: Javontae Holloway: This scam is all hat and no cattle.
- March 4, 2014: Javontae Holloway: This burner phone scammer has an Ohio Version
- July 10, 2014: Update: Javontae Holloway the Chameleon, or Should I Say “PIG!”
- August 7, 2014: Updated: Javontae Gowdy, a new name for an old scam artist
- August 13, 2014: A New Name – An Old Con Game
- August 25, 2014: The Fed-Ex and Walmart Scam for Dummies
- September 22, 2014: Dread Pirate Roberts, A New & Improved, Javontae Holloway
- November 21, 2014: Law Practice: The Paraplegic Scam and the story of Po Javontae
- December 22, 2014: Javontae aka Troy Williams Gets an “A” For Effort
- January 11, 2015: Latest Update, Iowa, Louisiana, New York