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Date First Reported: October 2011

Primary Name Associated: Ralph Chaplic

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

[Updated January 2012]
Between early October and early November 2011, more than 20 Ontario lawyers lawyers notified us that they received emails from the purported Ralph Chaplic looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement. This is similar to other frauds of this kind we have seen. For a full description of how this fraud works and to see other names attached to it, see our Confirmed Fraud page that deals with business load frauds.

Here is an example of the email:

From: Ralph Chaplic [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 11:51 PM
Subject: Re: Legal Representation.

Dear Counsel,

I am seeking legal representation from your law firm regarding a breach of
Loan agreement I had with my borrower. I need proper legal advice and
assistance to know the best way to handle this issue. If this is your area
of practice, please contact me to provide you with further Information.

Regards,

Ralph Chaplic.

A lawyer who replied got this response:

From: Ralph Chaplic [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 3:09 AM
To: lawyer name
Subject: Re: Legal Representation.

Dear Counsel,

Good day to you and thanks for responding to my email. Please pardon my late email response as my condition does not allow me to stay long on the computer. The consultation fee shouldn’t be a problem, kindly send me your firm fee / retainer agreement for my review and upon receipt and if OK, I will make immediate provision for the fee.

My full names are Ralph Chaplic. I am a lender who lends companies and individuals funds on a fixed term to invest and in return pay back with interest. On January 5th, 2009, I lend Comstock Canada Limited who is located in your jurisdiction the sum of $480.000.00 with interest on two years fixed term and to pay back January 5th, 2011.

There has not been any attorney working on this case. Different payment dates have been promised and I still have not received anything. I was advised to seek legal assistance in my borrower jurisdiction which is why I contacted you to act as my counsel in retrieving these funds. My last contact with my Borrower, I was told I would receive payment not later than Mid January 2011 and till now, nothing has been paid.

Kindly let me know what your fees would be in order for me to inform the company to expect contact from you as you have been authorized to act on my behalf. I would like to forward your details to them on your approval, so they know a law firm is representing me and I can sue for breach of agreement if they don’t keep their promise. I would like to give them this last chance to fulfill their obligations before we start legal proceeding.

Please do get back to me so I can furnish you with the required details to contact my borrower on my behalf as I know these companies respect law firms and do not want to be carried to court. Before we proceed, kindly forward your fee/retainer agreement for my review and if okay upon receipt, I will make immediate provision for the fee for you to begin work.

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation and understanding. Contact me should you require more information. I have attached here a copy of the Loan Agreement Promissory Note for your peruse. My borrower’s name is Comstock Canada Limited.

Regards,

Ralph Chaplic.

ID was then sent by the fraudster:

Attched are my ID’s. I am presently in Japan on a reconstruction contract and here is the number I could be reach +818043972154. Kindly send me your firm fee / retainer agreement for my review and if OK upon receipt, I shall make immediate provision for the fee.

I do not think this matter will result to litigation as they are not disputing the claim neither do they want to contest it. All I need is a reputable law firm like yours to act on my behalf as I am sick of their various excuses. They agreed to pay but kept giving me numerous excuses and turning me around. Each time they noticed I am about to seek a legal counsel to sue for breach of the agreement we had, they always come up the notion that they want to pay and the moment I cool off, they won’t come up with the payment.

They emailed me agreeing to pay after I notified them of my intention to sue them for breach of loan agreement we had. They have previously made several promises to come up with the payment and none they kept and that is the more reason I told them this time around, I am seeking a legal counsel that will retrieve this funds from them and if need be, litigate them for breach of loan agreement.

Please note that they have already requested for your firm contact details to enable them establish contact with you and set up an arrangement on how to remit the money they owed. They indicated that they do not want to be litigated and are willing to pay as I have instructed them. Please confirm if it’s OK for me to forward to them your firm contact details as they have requested to enable them establish contact with you and set up an arrangement on how to remit the due loan without delays or possible litigation.

Kindly forward to me your firm fee / terms of agreement for my review and if okay upon receipt of the agreement, I shall make immediate provision for the fee to be paid.

Thanks as I look forward in receiving the agreement.

R. Chaplic.


One lawyer received two cheques (one for the debt, one for retainer fees) and the following cover letter. Note that the cheques have the same numbering.

How to handle a real or suspected fraud

If you have been targeted by any of these frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to [email protected]

If you suspect you are acting on a matter that might be a fraud, call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899). We will talk you through the common fraud scenarios we are seeing and help you spot red flags that may indicate you are being duped. This will help you ask appropriate questions of your client to determine if the matter is legitimate or not. If the matter you are acting on turns out to be a fraud and there is a potential claim, we will work with you to prevent the fraud and minimize potential claims costs.

If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.

For more immediate updates on fraud and claims prevention, subscribe to the email or RSS feed updates from LAWPRO’s AvoidAClaim blog.

Fraud Fact SheetMore fraud prevention information and resources are available on the practicePRO Fraud page, including the Fraud Fact Sheet, a handy reference for lawyers and law firm staff that describes the common frauds and the red flags that can help identify them.