Charles Johnson, Senior Architect

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This individual made email contact with the Cleveland APL on 6/29/16. He introduced himself as Charles Johnson, Senior Architect at the London architecture firm, gpad. He indicated he wanted to donate to a non-profit in his late wife’s name and asked to be directed to the appropriate person. We replied to his email and later that same day he contacted us again and indicated he was going to donate $30,000 USD, and wanted to know who to make the check payable to. On 7/25/16 he sent another email and inquired if the donation had been delivered. We told him it had not. On 9/12/16, he sent a similar email inquiry, and a check in the amount of $48,750 was delivered by FedEx on 9/13/16. By this time, we were alerted of similar scams and knew not to deposit the check. Even so, in an attempt to gather more information from him, we told him it was "scheduled for deposit" at which time he asked for confirmation of the deposit and asked when he’d receive a tax receipt. At that time we told him it can take up to 2 weeks for our gift processing team to generate thank you letters/tax receipts, and by then our bank will have verification that the checked cleared the bank, and asked him for a mailing address. We have not heard back from him…he probably figured out we were on to him…or savvy enough to know to wait for a check of that amount to clear the bank.

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