Our hero, Peters, received one of the those emails requesting help depositing a large sum of money.
Peters received over $800,000 in checks and deposited them with his bank.
After the bank confirmed the checks had cleared he then had his bank wire about $460,000 to the scammer in Hong Kong.
A couple weeks later the bank came back and said the checks had been altered with a special acid and upon further review were worthless.
The bank then sued Peters for $460,000.
Result: bank wins right to attach Peters property even before trial because it is likely to win the case.
Why: Peters was negligent and per the Uniform Commercial Code was thus precluded from asserting a defense that the bank was also negligent. Peters was also unable to allocate any portion of the loss to the bank because he failed to prove the bank was negligent.
The obvious - don't fall for emails from foreign lands claiming they have tons of money which they need your help in depositing.
The less obvious until now - you cannot rely on your bank telling you funds have cleared. If you have a huge sum of money coming in which you are relying upon to send money out, which could bankrupt you if the funds are bad, be extra slow in paying that money out.
The less less obvious - in this case the money transfer was through a corporation, ironically called "Faux". Peters was still personally liable as typical bank accounts require personal responsibility for company debts.