Collaborative family law agreement scam by Elena Kinoshita
Description of Potential Fraud:
Since May 2012, over 100 lawyers in Ontario and all over the U.S. have notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Elena Kinoshita with regards to a to a collaborative family law agreement dispute. 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 the initial email:
From: [email protected]
Sent: May-21-12 7:19 AM
I wish to file a contempt petition against my ex-spouse for failure to make
court ordered payments of Child Support, Spousal Support, Equitable
distribution, Medical support and separate maintenance. Please advise if you
handle such case.
Here is another variation:
From: “[email protected]
Date: May 23, 2012 7:46:43 AM CDT
To: “[email protected]
Subject: Collection of Divorce Settlement
Please advise if you handle such case,I wish to file a contempt petition against my ex-spouse for failure to make court ordered payments resulting from dissolution of marriage.
A lawyer who replied got this response and supporting documentation:
Thank you for your prompt response. Am residing in South Korea for an assignment at present and my ex-spouse and Greensberg Kinoshita (ex-spouse) lives in Yuba City, California. Due to the time difference (+13hrs EST), it is a little bit difficult to determine the best time to call you. Following my previous mail, My ex-spouse and I agreed under a Collaborative Law Agreement which incorporated by reference was approved, merged into and made part of the court order for a cash settlement of $698,000.00USD, for child support, spousal support, etc, To his credit, he has paid me $260,500.00USD but still owing $437.500.00USD and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed. Therefore, breaching the court’s decree with regards to payment of divorce settlement. He is aware of my intention to seek legal actions. Attached is a copy of the Collaborative Law Agreement, Entitlement Settlement Agreement and the Court’s Decree (i.e. Divorce Decree) and I will be pleased to provide further information on this case on request. I have already advised him I am planning on retaining your firm. Kindly send me your firm’s retainer fee agreement so that we can proceed. Thank you and I await your email with the retainer agreement.
Another lawyer had a signed retainer agreement returned with this message:
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 and I will be sending a hard copy of the documents in mail to your office.
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.Greensberg Kinoshita 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 Greensberg Kinoshita. Therefore, till the time granting expires, you should not make contact to Greensberg, unless advised by me, to do so. Also, the payment that will be sent by Greensberg Kinoshita 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.
Address: 928-12 Daechi 3-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-502, South Korea
One lawyer’s office received the following cheque and cover letter from the “ex-husband”:
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.