Gertrude Banks, who lived in Washington, D.C., desired to take a loan out on a property she owned in New Jersey. She agreed in writing that she owed and would pay five relatives of her deceased husband $30,000 each out of the loan proceeds. None of the relatives lived in New Jersey. New York attorney Jordan Kapchan handled the closing of the loan transaction, and also secured title insurance for the transaction from a New Jersey insurer.
Originally, Kapchan followed instructions to disburse $30,000 each to the five relatives, and cut checks to them, which were returned to him. With the returned checks, Kapchan received a letter from a woman named Vivian Prince, who claimed to be working on Banks' behalf, instructing him to cut a single check for the $150,0