Thanks, ***** ***** for working on my question.
To make a long story as short as possible...
As an allied health care worker, I recently applied for a medical job on Craigslist. I received a swift response from the supposed owner of the medical practice; he claimed that he was on "international business" and, right now, needed someone to run errands for him including purchasing of materials and managing his PO Box. He claimed this could turn into longer-term employment at the office when he was back in the country.
I quickly flagged this as a scam after I received a similar e-mail from the same guy when I applied for a completely unrelated job on Craigslist. In the second e-mail, the guy gave a different return date to the US than in the first e-mail.
However, yesterday I received a legitimate Bank of America check in the mail for ~$2,000 as well as an e-mail from the guy saying to expect the check as an advance for services rendered, yet to be determined. He got my address from my resume.
He told me to deposit the check to my bank and, once the funds have cleared, he'll provide further instructions on what to do.
This still stinks of illegal scam to me, although the check looks legitimate. So, theoretically, if I gave him the benefit of the doubt and cashed the check, and then it turned out to be for illegal activities I had no knowledge of, could I be prosecuted for conspiracy
Note: I did NOT cash the check! I need sound advice from a lawyer before I proceed with any of this, because it just seems too shady.