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A lawyer’s tale — ‘I was duped by an Internet scam’ — with a local angle

5:03 PM Thu, Sep 13, 2007 |
Sheila Lennon
 E-mail

Wanted: Gullible Lawyers, the cover story in last week’s Washington City Paper, is subtitled, “I was hired over e-mail. A boss I never met promised me $14,000 a month. How could I fall for that?”


With a humility perhaps seldom seen among lawyers, Arin Greenwood, pictured at right, tells the tale of an Internet scam that duped a group of 79, including “lawyers, researchers, writers, computer programmers, designers, administrators, executive assistants and one mathematician named Kermit.”

They gave up their Social Security and bank account numbers and worked hard on boring research till the first promised payday that never came. (Apparently the only real damage was suffered by the participants’ pride.)

The ending of the tale is pretty amazing. (i won’t spoil it.)

In passing, she mentions walking the beach near her parents’ house in Rhode Island, so I contacted her.

Arin Greenwood turns out to be from East Greenwich.

In an email she explains,

…actually, I’m from Warwick – my parents live right on the line, and we have an East Greenwich zip code but are in the Warwick school zone. I went to Wheeler — graduated in 1991… Oberlin College finally gave me a diploma in 1995, I graduated from Columbia Law School in 2000.

After 5 years in Saipan, near Guam, lawyering in the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, she’s in D.C. now, doing legal work as a temp.

Arin has placed her first novel, Tropical Depression, with an agent. She tells me its plot:

The novel is about a spunky/depressive young lawyer in New York who absconds to a small tropical island near Guam to flee her personal demons, only to find that the tropics is no place to hide from herself, though it’s a heck of a place to SCUBA dive and drink stunning quantities of beer.

Here’s her site.

Meanwhile, even without this connection, Arin’s scam story is a good read that will leave you more baffled than sad.

Later: In response to comments questioning whether this story is fiction, Arin emailed a link to the “lawsuit filed by the splinter group” mentioned in the story.




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