Date First Reported: November 2012

Primary Name Associated: Masatoshi Sugioka

Description of Potential Fraud:


Two Ontario lawyers have reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Masatoshi Sugioka of Inpex Corporation with regards to retaining their services to collect on a breach of an IP agreement. For details of how this scam works and to see other names associated with it, see our Confirmed Fraud page.

Here is the initial email.

From: INPEX CORPORATION, JAPAN [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:55 PM
Subject: Legal Issue

We are a large energy supply business on a global scale company here in Japan and we have a breach of intellectual property agreement matter in your jurisdiction. Please advise us on your retainer fee so that we can forward you the agreement for your review and run a conflict check.
Yours Sincerely,

Masatoshi Sugioka
Representative Diretor
Vice Chairman in charge of HSE

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.

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Fraud Fact Sheet More 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.