Thanks for the words to the wise Paul.
"Yes it could be a legitimate organization, however someone may be using the company name for cover and may not have anything to do with the business it represents" This was my initial reaction as well but after some exchanges, I'm leaning towards an actual company gone bad or maybe always has been bad but never caught red handed.
I've considered this a scam right from the get-go when my cousin's granddaughter contacted me about my elderly cousin having been approached by this Coutot-Roehrig company.
I've done a bit of digging and have been having fun playing with them.
They are evasive, speak only in generalities, keep trying to pump us for info on other family members aka heirs and tell us nothing that isn't readily available publically on line. Ah, but after we sign a contract then they'll tell us what we seek.
Oh and I love that they want us to sign a power of attorney over to them as well supposedly so that they can effect any sales of property in the estate, deal with notaries in France on our behalf, etc. I don't know whether to laugh at how ludicrous that is or be insulted that C-R would actually think/hope we're that stupid.
I tested them with a red herring or two and they failed. They spun those bits around and fed them back to my cousin's granddaughter in part, to try and leverage her and her aunt, who has power of attorney for my elderly cousin, into trusting them. Too bad for them that my cousin's granddaughter & his daughter already knew about the red herrings and were just waiting to see if Coutot-Roehrig regurgitated those bits back to them.
Maybe C-R is hoping we're naive or greedy or a bit of both. I especially liked the email to my cousin's granddaughter where C-R tried to get him onboard by telling them that many of the heirs had already signed contracts with them.
Let's see...Coutot-Roehrig keeps trying to pump her (and me) for info on the family members aka heirs, have sent her a partial tree/list of family members they have for our family which we know not only came from on line sources rather than any bonafide research they may have done but is incomplete, contains errors and omits some individuals. As evidenced by their failed attempts to sucker us into divulging information on those members, C-R obviously knows nothing about our branch of the family other than what is on line. Mever the less, Coutot-Roehrig has stated to my cousin's granddaughter that those heirs have already signed contracts.
Or maybe Coutot-Roehrig meant the descendants of the "brother" have signed contracts except again, C-R knows nothing about this Cannella man and has also been trying to pump us for information beyond what is on line for him & his family.
This supposed brother of our female ancestor - my grandmother nee Cannella who is the ancestor that is supposed to be the linking heir from two women who were supposedly her sisters and the originators of this supposed estate, isn't my grandmother's brother at all.
In looking at what Coutot-Roehrig fed my cousin's granddaughter about this Cannella man, it was clear to me that everything they had on him came from a series of posts I'd done back 2005 - 06 on him when I was looking at him as a possible nephew to my grandmother. Back then, I was hoping to find this Cannella man's father & hoping that father was a sibling to my grandmother.
In the interim since those posts, I've found siblings for my grandmother as well as having found this Cannella man's father. His father was born 4 years before my great-grandparents married so this Cannella man's father definately isn't one of my grandmother's brothers.
And this Cannella man I'd posted on certainly isn't a brother to my grandmother as Coutot-Roehrig claims him to be because my great-grandmother would have been 64 yrs old the year this guy was born.
All in all, it's a fairly sophisticated scam but still a scam. I've been entertaining myself yanking Coutot-Roehrig's chain but it's become stale and I've better things to do so won't be dealing with them any more. Both my cousin's granddaughter and his daughter have also added the C-R addys to their blocked lists and stopped bothering with them.
In posting here, I was just curious to learn if Coutot-Roehrig had tried to scam any other Cannella family lines with this same story...two Cannella women originally from Itri lived & died in France, their direct descendants left no heirs so inheritance then switches to the siblings of these two women aka my grandmother & her descendants and the Cannella man Coutot-Roehrig erroneously thinks, apparently because of my old posts, is a brother to my grandmother and his descendants.
BTW Paul, in my direct line I have a Caterena Capotosto b. abt. 1754 (not on the 1754 catasto, this yr figured from age at death) d. 7 May 1819 married to a Pompeo Cardi. Does she show up in your Capotosto"s?
--- In FraDiavolo@yahoogroups.com, Paul Capotosto <paul.capotosto@...> wrote:
> I have been in Law Enforcement for 26+ years and have seen many fall prey to
> these offers, don't let your judgement become clouded.
> I would bet this is a scam, so be very careful as I would strongly suggest you
> do not "Verify your personal financial Information" to them and do not for any
> reason provide "GOOD FAITH" money to secure rights to an estate.
> Yes it could be a legitimate organization, however someone may be using the
> company name for cover and may not have anything to do with the business it
> DO YOUR HOMEWORK, please