Law Firm Couldn’t Get Its Hijacked Money Back
April 5, 2019
To facilitate the closing of a real estate deal, the Buck Law Firm was supposed to forward money to Deutsche Bank, per the payoff instructions of mortgage and real estate services company Altisource. Unbeknownst to the law firm, the Altisource computer systems had been breached and the hacker had learned of the upcoming funds transfer. “With this knowledge,” as the opinion from the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia puts it, “ the Hacker ‘mimicked’ the email address Altisource used and provided fraudulent wiring instructions to the Buck Parties.” In short, the money went to the hacker. Deutsche Bank sued the law firm, and the law firm sued Altisource, contending it should have been warned about the hack. That ruling, in the district court the Eastern District of Virginia, went against the law firm, although the firm will be allowed to file an amended complaint.
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