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Cheyenne Couple Sue Over Alleged Theft of Money from Home Sale

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Sep 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

I just learned that one of my cases was in the news. It was a surprise to me as the reporter never contacted me for comment.

Here is the story (my clients are the Nicklases):

A pair of Cheyenne residents have filed a lawsuit against a title company and a real estate agency for alleged negligence and breach of contract after a scam artist supposedly succeeded in getting the proceeds from a home sale wired into the wrong bank account, stealing the money.

The lawsuit was filed on April 20 in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.

Gregory and Collen Nicklas claim Summit Title of Cheyenne acted as the closing agent for the sale of the Nicklas' home and were to wire the proceeds from the sale to their bank account. But on the day of the closing, Summit allegedly got a bogus email ordering that the money be deposited into a different account.

The couple also claims Assist 2 Sell Buyers and Sellers Real Estate acted as their agent for the sale. The scam artist had allegedly hacked into and Assist 2 Sell email account because of lax security measures by Joy Badertscher of Assist 2 Sell.

By hacking into the information, the scammers supposedly gleaned enough information to create the bogus email that led Summit Title to deposit the money into the wrong account.

The Nicklases also claim Summit Title didn't bother to verbally confirm the change in account information, and that they had given the company explicit instructions on Nov. 30, 2017, in a face to face meeting about where to deposit the proceeds from the sale.

They claim those instructions were ignored in favor of the information in the email.The suit also claims the bogus email featured poor syntax which should have alerted the title company that the author was not familiar with American English.

The Nicklases are asking for the $42,046.52  in sale proceeds that were deposited into the wrong account as well as damages, court costs, and any other money the court decides to award them.

Both Summit Title and Assist 2 Sell declined to comment when contacted about the lawsuit.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.

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