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Date First Reported: January 2011

Primary Name Associated: Beverly Kawashima

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Last week we did a post about an Ontario lawyer that exchanged emails with the purported Beverly Kawashima. From the calls and emails we received it now appears that several other Ontario lawyers have been contacted, as has a lawyer in Alberta.

Also in response to that post, lawyers in California (two of them), Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas have advised us that they have been targeted as well. In one case a lawyer was contacted through a profile listing on Avvo. The email conversation with one of those lawyers is reproduced below, along with the documents that were provided as background for the matter: a passport, a collaborative family law agreement, a divorce decree and an entitlement settlement agreement.

The messages and documents on this fraud are virtually identical to those that other lawyers have received recently on collaborative family law agreement scams from the purported Kathy Cheung and Peggy Higashi.

The email conversation with one of U.S. lawyers that was contacted was as follows:

Jan 7
Message from “Beverly Kawashima Beverly Kawashima”
Subject: Your Urgent Reply Is Needed.
Dear Counsel,

My name is Beverly Kawashima. I am contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement with my ex husband Mackenzie Kawashima who resides in your jurisdiction.

I am currently working in S.Korea. We had an out of court agreement (Collaborative Law Agreement) for him to pay $750,500.00 plus legal fees. He has only paid me $251,500.00 since.I am hereby seeking your firm`s assistance in collecting the balance from him.

He has agreed already to pay me the balance but it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect/enforce payment from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised.

Your’s truly,
Beverly Kawashima

Jan 7
Ms. Kawashima,  I would be interested in representing you in this matter.  I need to discuss this with you further. Kindly contact me by phone.

Jan 8
Thank you for your prompt response. Currently am living in S.Korea for an assignment and Mr Mackenzie Kawashima live in USA. I tried calling a couple of times and with the time difference(+13hrs EST) it is a little bit difficult to gauge the best time to reach you vice verse.
We agreed under this Collaborative Law Agreement for a one time cash settlement of $750,500.00 usd to his credit, he has paid me $251,500.00 usd. He is aware of my intention to seek legal actions. I will be pleased to provide further information on this matter on request.

I expect this to be a non litigation matter. I have already advised him I am planning on retaining your firm. If possible please send me a retainer agreement so that we can proceed. Also send me the payment information of your firm just in case my ex-husband wants to make the full payment he owes payment without further delays or possible litigation. Thank you and have a pleasant day.

Regards,
Beverly Kawashima.

Kawashima settlement agreement
Kawashima Divorce Decree
Kawashima collaborative agreement

Jan 10
Dear Counsel,

Since your last mail,we have not gotten any mail from you.Please if you are not interested do indicate it here immediately.

But if you know you can handle my case do send me a retainer agreement so that we can proceed. Also send me the payment information of your firm just in case my ex-husband wants to make the full payment he owes payment without further delays or possible litigation. Thank you and have a pleasant day.

Regards,
Beverly Kawashima

Jan 13
Subject: Please can you acknowledge receipt of the signed agreement. ……………..
Please can you acknowledge receipt of the signed agreement. I am looking for a way forward on this matter. and I am unanimously content with the details portrayed on the agreement. Find the attached signed
page of the agreement received from your firm.

For the remittance of the retainer, Please send me the name and address(not.p.o.box) you want the retainer issue to , I have informed Mr. Kawashima that I am working with your firm in regard to the issue.
He went on to ask for extra time period to set up the payment to be made, which I feel inclined to grant to maintain a decent relationship, giving him till next week to produce the monies and remit payment.

Nonetheless, after the grace time expires, full measures must be initiated against Kawashima.Therefore, till the time granting expires, you should not make contact to Kawashima, unless advised by me, to do so. Also, and the payment send by Kawashima, that will be solely controlled by you, as my attorney, for any and all payment that will be made to and secured in the trust account. thank you for your professional assistance. I await your acknowledgment of this email
immediately.

Best Regards,
Beverly Kawashima.

This appears to be a bad cheque scam (for details on how these work see this earlier AvoidAClaim post)

If you have been targeted by this fraud, please forward any of the emails you have received to [email protected].

Call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899) if you suspect you are acting on a matter that appears like it might be a fraud. 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. In the event the matter you are acting is 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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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