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Messages "Spoof" Leading Law Firm's Email Address
ST. LOUIS, (, January 22, 2014 - The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Fraud Prevention Task Force has been contacted by two individuals who recently received emails regarding alleged pending court appearances.

According to the Task Force, one gentleman, a Boston resident, said the message he received had a "zip-file" attached. He was instructed to open the attachment to "familiarize himself" with the case history so that he could knowledgeably testify in federal court. Fearing malware or a computer virus, he was immediately on guard. Further, he had not been to St. Louis in many years, he had no business dealings here and he was not involved in any litigation in the area.

The second caller is an officer of a well-known local commercial construction firm. He was also reluctant to open documents attached to his email. However, his firm has previously dealt with the law firm from which the message was supposedly sent. He was also aware that a similarly-named construction firm based in Kansas City, Missouri was a party to a lawsuit, so he thought the email might have been mistakenly sent to his firm.

What did these e-mails have in common? Both were purportedly sent from the offices of Bryan Cave, an internationally-known law firm that was founded in St. Louis in 1873 and currently has offices around the globe. The message the Boston victim received showed a return email address of The St. Louis victim's return email address was Neither of these addresses exists, according to Bryan Cave personnel. In fact, the law firm was so concerned with the misuse of their domain name they posted a warning on their website.

The cyber crooks behind this scam likely wanted the recipients to open the zip file or other attached documents before they responded to the email. This action could have resulted in the theft or destruction of sensitive information on the recipients' operating systems. While past scams of this type concentrated on espionage for profit, cyber professionals are predicting that in 2014 we can expect to see an increase in crimes aimed solely at disrupting businesses and organizations by destroying vast amounts of data.

Should you receive this type of email, do not open the attached document or click on a link unless you are absolutely convinced of the sender and the security of the document. Also, be certain that your business or personal operating system has security safeguards in place and your data is backed up regularly. When it comes to data backup, follow the "three copy rule." A copy of the data should exist on your computer, in a device stored securely offsite and in the cloud or on a professional backup system such as Carbonite.

The Circuit Attorney's Fraud Prevention Task Force aims to give St. Louisans the tools and education to protect themselves against fraud, theft and scams. If you believe you have been targeted by a scam, want more information on how to protect yourself from fraud or would like to request a fraud prevention seminar for your organizations, neighborhood or office, call the hotline at 314-612-1412.

Justine PETERSEN Presents Series of Free Workshops for Businesses
ST. LOUIS, (, January 20, 2014 - Justen PETERSEN will hold a free workshop, Intellectual Property for Small Businesses, February 10, 2014, from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., discussing the differences among copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents, and why it matters.

This workshop will discuss important issues in intellectual property and how understanding basics can help you grow your business. Topics also include:

  • How to avoid critical mistakes that could harm your company, such as infringing on others' intellectual property, particularly in common with websites and social media; and
  • Protecting your organization's intellectual property from infringement by others.
Presenter for the workshop is Andrew Whitehead, an intellectual property attorney broadly involved in all aspects of intellectual property law. Whitehead has extensive law firm and in-house experience preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign applications, supporting litigation activities and counseling clients on a multitude of IP related issues.

The workshop will be presented by the Community and Economic Development Program of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. The Program provides free business legal assistance to start-up and existing businesses. It will help entrepreneurs with all kids of legal issues businesses face, such as legal structure, tax, employment, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, land use and corporate governance.

Entrepreneurs can attend a Financial Education Marathon, Saturday, February 15, 2014, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

This monthly workshop covers and reviews basic financial money management topics, including:

  • PNC's Foundations of Money Management;
  • Consumer Rights & Responsibilities; and
  • Insurance Needs & Risk Management.
This session is designed for those new to money management or seeking a review of basic financial tips. The workshop is typically held the third Saturday of each month, with the next one on Saturday, March 15th.

Workshops are held at the Justine PETERSEN Office, located at 1023 North Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63106.

Parking and entrance on the side and back of the building. A light lunch will be provided.

Call (314) 533-2411 ext. 100 or email Maria at to reserve a seat. Be sure to indicate which session(s) you wish to attend.

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. Celebrates 150 Years of Building America
ST. LOUIS, (, January 20, 2014 - McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is kicking off its 150th anniversary celebration this month, firmly cementing the company as one of the oldest American-owned construction companies with offices nationally. Founded as a family-owned business in 1864 during the height of the Civil War, McCarthy is now the nation's 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2013) with 2013 revenues exceeding $3 billion.

"The same principles that helped get the business off the ground in 1864 still guide us today: a focus on meeting each client's needs, a willingness to work hard together to bring exceptional value to every project, and genuine people committed to improving people's lives."

"When McCarthy began, the focus was on serving customers in the local community and building with the highest quality," explained McCarthy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bolen. "The same principles that helped get the business off the ground in 1864 still guide us today: a focus on meeting each client's needs, a willingness to work hard together to bring exceptional value to every project, and genuine people committed to improving people's lives."

Founded by Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy, the building company began as a lumber business focusing on constructing farmhouses and barns around Ann Arbor, Mich. Three of the founder's children went into the family business, and in 1907, incorporated the firm in Missouri.

Over the next 50 years, the company completed projects at the World's Fair in San Francisco, in Alaska and in the Panama Canal Zone, building a thriving business through two World Wars, the Great Depression and decades of civil unrest. In the 1970s, McCarthy began its ascent to national prominence in healthcare construction management, as well as becoming the nation's largest design-build parking structure builder.

In 1984, Michael M. McCarthy, great grandson of company founder Timothy McCarthy, assumed the position of chairman of the board and went on to lead McCarthy's continued growth in healthcare and further expansion into the semiconductor, biopharmaceutical, educational, R&D and general manufacturing markets, with the company becoming a major player in each.

In the 1990s, the company continued to expand with a focus on tackling the most complex construction challenges, becoming a national in leader the science & technology, laboratory and water treatment markets.

In 1996, the McCarthy Employee Stock Ownership Plan was created, and on April 12, 2002, Michael McCarthy sold his majority ownership interest in the company to its employees. He was the final family member to have an ownership interest in the firm. Today, McCarthy is structured as an S corporation employee stock ownership plan (S ESOP) with approximately 1,700 salaried employee-owners, positioning the company as one of the largest employee-owned companies with this structure in America.

Throughout the 2000s, the company continued to respond to changing client needs, becoming an industry leader in sustainable, renewable energy and entertainment projects. In 2005, MC Industrial, Inc., an independent McCarthy company, was created to meet the highly specialized construction needs of the industrial marketplace.

"Our new adventure as a 100 percent employee-owned business began during an extremely difficult time for our nation, right after the events of September 11, 2001," explained Bolen in 2012 as the firm celebrated a decade of 100 percent employee ownership. "Despite the nation's economic highs and lows over the same time period, employee ownership has literally transformed our company. It's made us even more client focused because it's in everyone's best interest to meet or exceed client expectations. Moreover, with the addition of the ESOP, our employee owners now have an additional retirement benefit - an outstanding advantage from which all Americans could gain."

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