In October of 2012 (so long ago), Chris Lee (aka black_laywer on Lock and poker2000 and a shit ton of other names on 2+2) contacted me about trading some online poker funds. We did our transaction and everything was smooth and easy. As a result of this transaction, I had his banking information stored as a profile within my online banking software. His account started with 6 zeros which made it the very first account listed in a drop down menu. I'll show you:
A few weeks later, I attempted to send a wire for high 4 figures to another online profile in my online banking. I filled everything out and hit "submit". My online banking then moves to this page so you can confirm the details:
As you can see, you need to scroll down to confirm details. If I want to change anything in the "data" field (where you can enter information attached to the wire for further instructions) you simply hit the "back" button.
However, when you hit the "back" button, it returns to the previous page but defaults to whatever account is at the top of the drop down menu. Since they are listed in numerical order, Chris Lee's account just happened to be the one at the top when I hit "back":
Long story short, it was EXTREMELY easy to send 2 bank wires to Chris Lee on accident for a total amount in the low 5 figures. Since I had Chris' skype, email address, 2+2 name and address, I contacted him immediately and asked him to send the funds back to me. I even offered to give him $100 for his time in helping me correct the mistake. As I'm sure you all understand, you can imagine that sick to my stomach feeling I got when he instantly "de-friended" me on Skype and did not reply to any emails or PMs. I tried every method possible for communicating but was met with nothing but silence for 2 weeks.
A mod on 2+2 offered his help and I gladly took it. He had referred Chris to me as someone looking to trade, but did not vouch for his credibility or anything. Never-the-less, he told me he used to work for a company tracking down alumni for colleges and he had some resources available to help me locate Chris Lee. He got me great info such as his Mother and Father's name and was able to get me is location that he was logging in to 2+2 from, which turned out to be Indiana University. This mod informed me that he knew someone that lived 20 minutes from Chris Lee's family's home and that he might be willing to attempt communication. I contacted the 2+2 mod's friend and we worked out an agreement where he would stop by the house and deliver a letter in person and state who he was and why he was there. Unfortunately, no one answered the door when he went so he left the letter in the mailbox. The letter simply stated the facts, that Chris had a lot of money that did not belong to him and that I would pursue legal action if it was not returned.
In the meantime, my bank, Chase bank, Indiana University police and anyone else I contacted for help on this were just repeating over and over that the money is probably not recoverable unless Chris says its okay to return the funds. IMO, these people are all just complete idiots who have absolutely no sense of ethics or morality who would rather run and hide under a rock than actually do some work and provide some service. You CANNOT just keep some money sent to you by mistake. I am sorry, but you just can't. No matter what "advice" you've been given, what laws are in place...you just CAN'T. It's pure and simply an matter of exchange. You can't simply take without giving something in exchange. That's how criminals operate and that's how you will be treated.
The only person who was on the same page as myself and the 2+2 mod assisting me was a young lawyer in New Jersey who I contacted in early December. I explained everything to him and he seemed EXTREMELY confident that we could easily get these funds back. This was definitely nice to hear and kept me energized. I compiled a timeline breaking down the events in chronological order along with all communication and communication attempts.
The person from 2+2 helping me had Chris Lee as a contact on Skype. On two occasions, he contacted me and told me that Chris Lee was online and talking to him about random stuff. The mod was very good in his communication and attempts to get Chris to talk about the situation. At one point, Chris told him to tell me to email all the information. Since I had sent him probably 20+ emails, I knew this was a front and that he probably had all my email addresses blocked. The next convo he had with him he told him that he didn't know me and then he promptly defriended me. He hadn't posted on 2+2 in a while and I was starting to think it was going to be extremely tough to get my money back.
Chris then resurfaced on 2+2 and I had 2 mods assisting me with IP address locations and all of his SN identities. Chris posted that he was leaving to Korea and was looking for poker stars funds. This was even more discouragement to me as if he left the country, it would be even tougher to recover my funds. I decided that the time was now to confront him face to face. I had his address, his parents names, recent proof that he was at his place of residence. I also received a letter from my bank stating that they had been working with Chase to recover the funds but that all communication attempts to Chris Lee AND Mrs. LEE
*(his mother) had been unsuccessful and they again reiterated that they just need authorization from the account holder to return the funds. This was a major break through because they all but confirmed that Mrs. Lee was a joint account holder or minimally a secondary on the account. This meant that I could probably include his mother in any legal action I pursued. More importantly, it probably meant that there was a loving mother somewhere who would be willing to listen to me if it meant keeping her son out of trouble.
The wife and I headed to Vegas for New Years and I decided to head to New Jersey thereafter while the wife went home. (Vegas was a whole other story of scams). I scheduled a meeting with the lawyer and made a battle plan of actions to take to be most effective. I did not want to leave empty handed without feeling like I had done all I could do. After Vegas and flying for hours then driving for more hours, I was exhausted and needed to sleep. I rescheduled my lawyer appointment for the afternoon (as opposed to the morning). I woke up at around 9 am and had some time to kill. I decided that I would make a personal attempt at communicating with Chris.
I drove to the house. Obviously feeling quite nervous but driven more by rage, I walked to the door and rang the bell. Some things worth noting were that the house was very, very nice and was evidence that Chris came from a family with money.
This was obviously a bit reassuring. I knocked on the door and was happy to see that someone was home. The most stereotypical, cute asian lady answered the door. She obviously did not speak a lot of English, but enough to communicate. I think I was quite luck that she had a maid service there at the time and felt okay letting me in the house as there were other people around. She clearly made me take off my shoes and gave me tiny slippers to wear.
She was listening to me but we were having a hard time communicating. She explained to me that Chris had in fact left to Korea. I think all that we got across was money, Chris in Korea, lawsuit and poker the last of which seemed to be the most important to her. She called her husband's "assistant" who was also Korean but spoke English. I talked with him and simply stated that money was sent to Chris by mistake, I came from California to collect it or file a lawsuit. He instantly told me to not hire the lawyer and that he would be at the house to meet with me in 40 minutes. This was very reassuring to me. While Chris' mom and I waited, I took some pictures of myself in Chris's house and emailed them to Chris. I hope they had the desired effect. I can imagine him shitting his pants when he saw this:
Family portrait in the background a nice touch IMO. Anyhow...the assistant showed up and I explained everything. It was a very interesting conversation. He made it very, very clear to me that 1) They absolutely want NO lawyers involved and 2) The money is not an issue. They could easily write a check if my facts check out. I was feeling very good at this point. Still though, they were hesitant to just write me a check and send me on my way. The mom then produced the letter that I had hand delivered and asked if I had sent that. I told her straight up that I paid someone $100 to hand deliver this. She then got out all the bank statement and we went through them and found the 2 transactions, both of which clearly showed that in the notes section the the wires were supposed to go somewhere else. I also brought copies of every email, chat attempt and letter sent. It was becoming increasingly obvious that I was who I said I was and that they would be repaying me.
However, the assistant and mother were WAAAAY more interested in what I could tell them about Chris' involvement in poker. They had me look at all his bank statements and tell them every transaction that was poker related. I was happy to do so. I also showed them his PTR profile so they could track his play and his 2+2 posts showing his poker related activities. I think the money I was asking for was worth it to them just for this information. They were absolutely horrified that their son was STILL playing poker, despite his fathers stern orders to stop. I explained that Chris was bragging about leaving to Korea so he could play on Stars. Not sure he'll be there much longer.
The only thing holding them up from just cutting me a check at this point was that they were unable to get a hold of Chris. I was so confident at this stage that I actually wanted to talk to him or at least hear what he had to say for himself. They could not contact him however. We settled on me hand writing a note on the letter that I had delivered, that I would return (my own) funds if Chris somehow is able to show and prove that these funds I sent actually belong to him. I was happy to do so.
We drove straight to Chase bank and had a great bank rep who understood everything and instantly returned all the funds to my bank.
Victory. Celebrated by watching the Clippers beat the Lakeshow and drinking stella out of a huge mug. Not sure why they didn't serve it in the standard goblet but I could not complain.
Thug life sometimes.