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I got a call from Mathews, who says he’s a public defender…

I got a call from...
I got a call from John Mathews, who says he’s a public defender in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He says my son was arrested after a traffic accident: case #*****
He says he was arrested for DUI and reckless endangerment. He says my son says the other car ran a red light.
This person wants $6500 or 5000 sent in cash by fedex.
How can I verify this story?
How can I talk to my son?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/16/2018
Expert James
Expert James, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,213
Experience: I hold a JD and have more than 12 years of legal experience.
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Hello! My name is***** have over 12 years of legal experience. Please allow me some time to review your question.

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I will do a little bit of research for you. Please be patient.

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Thank you for your patience. Your answer is below. When you get your answers, you will be asked to give a rating - 4 or 5 stars are appreciated. This is important because this is how I credit for doing my job. Don't worry, you can still ask related follow-up questions even after you've given a rating. Thank you!

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I think this might be a bogus request.

First, here is a list of the Public Defenders in Lancaster County, past and present: http://lancaster.ne.gov/pdefen/his_staf.htm#att

Second, each attorney practicing law in Nebraska must be licensed to do so. I checked the Nebraska government's directory on licensed attorneys and there exists no records of licensed attorneys named "John Mathews," "John Matthews," "Jon Mathews," "Jon Matthews," "Jonathan Matthews," "Jonathan Mathews," "Johnathan Matthews," or "Johnathan Mathews."

Third, most public defenders are paid by the state, county or local governments, not by individuals.

Fourth, the fact that he asked you to send $6500, or $5000 money in cash by FedEx is also quite suspicious. A $1500 discount for a cash payment seems like a lot of a discount. You can also look up the address to which they told you to send the money.

The only way to know for sure if he is actually a Public Defender is to contact the Lancaster County Public Defender's office to find out if there is an attorney there with that name. The number is 441-7631.

So again, in my opinion, based on the totality of the circumstances, this sounds like a fraud or a scam of some type.

I hope that answers your questions.

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Expert James
Expert James, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,213
Experience: I hold a JD and have more than 12 years of legal experience.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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