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Date First Reported: August 2013

Primary Name Associated: Kenneth Dean

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

[Updated Oct 2013]

Thirty lawyers across Canada have notified us that they received an email from the purported Kenneth Dean looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and other names associated with it , and our Fraud Fact Sheet for a list the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Kenneth Dean
Date: 14 August, 2013 11:23:15 PM EDT
To:
Subject: Enquiry
Reply-To: Kenneth Dean
Hello

My company is currently looking for a Law Firm that can assist us with the issue of an overdue loan of $467,000 that I had provided to a former business partner of mine Robert Otermat. If you or your firm can handle this matter, get back to me at your earliest convenience so that I can provide detailed information and related documents on this issue.

Sincerely
kenneth Dean

A lawyer who replied got this response:

Hello,

Thanks for the prompt response.I am sorry for the late response I had some family issue to deal with.Per your request I would like you to carry out your conflict check and advise the next step to proceed with this issue. The total amount of the loan to Mr. Otermat was $467,000.00 on a 7.5% to pay back at the end of one year term but on 4 different installments.Robert is someone I’ve known and had a good business relationship with for over 6 years. We have done business together in the past with no issue. In September, 14th-2012 I gave him a loan of $467,000.00 to assist his business. We both signed an agreement / promissory note that he would repay the loan amount quarterly within a period of one year. It is very regretful that he has paid $65,000.00 only which I received sometime in January this year .

I am prepared to pay a reasonable retainer to your firm for this service as soon as I get an engagement letter from your firm.Attached to this mail is a PDF version of the loan agreement / promissory note for your perusal.

Please send me your engagement letter indicating your hourly and retainer fees so we can proceed with this case. I can be reached at the phone number below at anytime and I expect to hear from you at your earliest convenience.Below is a break down on the loan capital and part payment he has made so far with the outstanding balance and the name of the borrower for your conflicts check.

BORROWER-

ROBERT OTERMAT
TORONTO,ON

Amount Borrowed- $467,000.00

Date Borrowed- 14/september/2012
Interest rate- 7.75 a year
Amount Paid From Capital-$65,000.00
Date Of Part Payment- January/2013
Outstanding Balance-$402,000

Regards,

Kenneth Dean
128 APPLETON STREET,
CHEETAHAM HILL,MANCHESTER
M8 0BT
44 7459145807

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 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.