Collaborative law agreement scam by Yoshiko Kannon
Date First Reported: July 2011
Primary Name Associated: Yoshiko Kannon
Description of Potential Fraud:
An Ontario lawyer advised us today that she has received an initial contact email message based on this scam where the fraudster is using a name we have not seen before: Yoshiko Kannon. The initial contact message suggests a payment is owed further to a collaborative law agreement and it is similar to those used in previous fraud attempts we have seen by: Zaira Hoshiko, Adrian Benavides, Anita Bell, Kathy Cheung, Peggy Higashi, Beverly Kawashima, and others. A full list is here.
Over the last several months, hundreds of lawyers from across North American have reported to us that they received various versions of this message. The reports to us are the tip of the iceberg – clearly thousands are being targeted. These fraudsters will actively respond to communications, sign retainer agreements (but not pay retainers as promised), provided identity documents and other supporting documentation, including copies of the collaborative agreement, a payment agreement and ultimately a fake cheque or bank draft. See the above posts for samples of these documents. One Ontario lawyer was successfully duped by this fraud. For a more detailed description on how these bad cheque scams work see this earlier AvoidAClaim post.
Here is a copy of the latest initial contact message:
From: Yoshiko Kannon [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 9:51 AM
Subject: Dear Counsel,
My name is Mrs. Yoshiko Kannon. I was married to my ex husband Mr. Terry Kannon (who lives in your jurisdiction) for 7 yrs and in March 2009,We mutually greed under a Collaborative Participation Law Agreement to go our separate ways. Mr. Terry Kannon had agreed to pay me $648,450.00 under terms of the agreement so that I can settle down and to his credit; he has paid me $44,000 but with an outstanding balance of $604,450.00.I am hereby seeking your legal assistance in collecting the balance or helping me enforce the agreement, and have him honor the agreement in entirety.
I will be providing further information upon your request. I believe that one of the reasons he has refused to pay is because I have re-married. I understand that been remarried does not automatically void the agreement. Prior to our separation due to irreconcilable differences, we were married for 23yrs of which by his instruction, I was a full time house wife to carter for our four children. Please get back to me if this is a case you can undertake. Let me know if you require consultation fee before you advice or look at the evidence, I am hereby seeking your firm to assist 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 payment from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised.
Please contact me on my private email address below:
Mrs. Yoshiko Kannon
SUMISHO LEASE CO.LTD.
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.