Warning: "JAECV Solicitors" and correspondence misusing the name Jose Villanueva

9 September 2020

A letter has been sent claiming to be from "Jose Villanueva" of "JAECV Solicitors”, in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance.

What is the scam?

A letter has been sent falsely claiming to be from "Jose Villanueva" of "JAECV Solicitors" in relation to a supposedly unclaimed inheritance. The letter seen by the SRA refers to a person who held a "permanent life insurance policy", with the same surname as the recipient.

The letter uses headed paper with the name "JAECV Solicitors". The letter provides the postal address used by a genuine solicitor (see below), a telephone number of "+44208 089 9951" and a fax number of "+44203 936 3330". It also provides a website address of "" and email addresses of "" and "".

The letter claims to be signed by "Jose Villanueva" (see below) and includes a "stamp" in the name of "Jaecv solicitors and legal advisers".

The website is operating, claiming to be for a "West Sussex probate law firm". In addition to the above details, it also provides and misuses the individual SRA number for a genuine solicitor (see below). It also gives a postal address of Tower Bridge Road, Tower Bridge, London, SE1 2AA. This website appears to be mirrored under a different url,

A separate page on the website, also refers to "Attorney Peter" (see below). This website appears to be mirrored under a different url,

The SRA does not authorise or regulate a firm of solicitors called JAECV Solicitors.

Any business or transaction through "JAECV Solicitors", the telephone number "+44208 089 9951", a fax number of "44203 936 3339", the websites "" and "" and the email addresses"", "" are not undertaken by a solicitor or law firm authorised and regulated by the SRA.

Is there a genuine firm or person?

The SRA does authorise and regulate a genuine solicitor called Jose Antonio Cofre Villanueva (who is usually known as Jose A. Cofre).  His genuine SRA number is 451293 and he works as an in-house solicitor at an address in London, SW1Y 4TQ.

The genuine Jose A. Cofre Villanueva has confirmed to the SRA that neither he nor his employer has any connection to the letter or websites referred to in the above alert.

The SRA also authorises and regulates a genuine solicitor called Peter William Martin.

The genuine solicitor, Peter William Martin, has also confirmed that he has no connection to the matters referred to in the above alert.

What should I do?

When a firm's or individual's identity has been copied exactly (or cloned), due diligence is necessary. If you receive correspondence claiming to be from the above firm(s) or individual(s), or information of a similar nature to that described, you should conduct your own due diligence by checking the authenticity of the correspondence by contacting the law firm directly by reliable and established means. You can contact the SRA to find out if individuals or firms are regulated and authorised by the SRA and verify an individual's or firm's practising details. Other verification methods, such as checking public records (e.g. telephone directories and company records) may be required in other circumstances.