Collaborative family law agreement scam by Tammy Smith
Date First Reported: December 2011
Primary Name Associated: Tammy Smith
Description of Potential Fraud:
Three Ontario lawyers have notified us that they have been contacted by the purported Tammy Smith with regards to a divorce settlement agreement. This is a fraud we have seen before under several other names and similar scenarios. For details on how this fraud works and a full list of names attached to it see our Confirmed Fraud page.
Here is an example of the email:
I am seeking legal representation from your law firm regarding a breach of divorce settlement Agreement I had with my ex husband who now resides in your jurisdiction. We had an out of court agreement for him to pay me $578,000.00 plus legal fees. He has only paid me $78,000 ever since this agreement was reached. So it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect my due settlement from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if need be.
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 at the email below to provide you with further Information.
Here is a transcript of one lawyer’s conversation with the fraudster:
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 if OK upon receipt, I shall make immediate provision for the fee.
My name is Tammy Smith. My ex husband and I agreed under this out of court Collaborative Law Agreement for a onetime cash settlement of $578,000. To his credit, he has paid me $78,000 but still owing $500,000. Ever since, he has refused to come up with the balance giving one excuses or the other. I expect this to be a non-litigation matter. I have already advised him I am planning on retaining a legal firm to litigate this issue if need be.
The lawyer that helped me with the matter had passed away due to cancer illness. I was advised to seek legal assistance in my ex husband new jurisdiction (TX) which is why I contacted you to act as my counsel in retrieving these funds. Different payment dates have been promised and I still have not received anything. My last contact with my ex husband, he told me I would receive payment not later than Mid July 2011 and till now, nothing has been paid.
Kindly let me know what your fees would be in order for me to inform my ex husband to expect contact from you as you have been authorized to act on my behalf. I would like to forward your details to him on your approval, so he knows a law firm is representing me and I can sue for breach of agreement if he doesn’t keep his promise. I would like to give him this last chance to fulfill his obligations before we start legal proceeding.
Please do get back to me so I can furnish you with the required details to contact my ex husband on my behalf as I know he 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 shall 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 CPLA and proof of partial payment for your peruse. My ex husband name is Brian Smith.
Smith Tammy Collaborative Agreement
Attached is a contract which will only cover a negotiated settlement. If litigation is required in the future, we will sign another contract. I will have to estimate the amount of time filing suit and trying the case will take. Let me know if this is agreeable to you.
When you sign and return the contract along with the fee, please also include all contact information for Brian. I will especially need to know what county he lives in, and for what length of time, so I can establish jurisdiction.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Agreement received. I will review it and If OK; I shall make immediate provision for the fee. Kindly have the agreement reattach in another format as it’s not opening over here. Have it reattach either with PDF or World. He now resides in Nederland, TX area. I have requested for his full physical address and here is his email [email protected]
I do not think this matter will result to litigation as he is not disputing the claim neither did he want to contest it. All I need is a reputable law firm like yours to act on my behalf as I am sick of his various excuses. He got properties here in KY, TX, and Canada as well. He is well to do business man but just wouldn’t want to come up with the balance on time as agreed. He agreed to pay but kept giving me numerous excuses and turning me around. Each time he noticed I am about to seek a legal counsel to sue for breach of the agreement we had, he always come up the notion that he want to pay and the moment I cool off, he won’t come up with the payment.
We chose Collaborative Law Process to reduce emotional and financial cost and the agreement is binding and enforceable anywhere as stated in the CPLA. He emailed me agreeing to pay after I notify him of my intention to sue him for breach of the agreement we had. He had previously made several promises to come up with the payment and none he ever kept and that is the more reason I told him this time around, I am seeking a legal counsel that will retrieve this funds from him and if need be, litigate him for breach of the agreement
I am seeking a counsel basically because it is taken longer for him to come up the settlement as agreed on the CPLA, and I know with a counsel involvement, these funds will be release as soon as possible without going to court. After I notify him of my intention, he had already requested for your firm contact details to enable him establish contact with you and set up an arrangement on how to remit the money he owed as I have instructed him without delays or face possible litigation.
Kindly have the agreement reattach with pdf or world format.
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.
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