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Date First Reported: August 2013

Primary Name Associated: Atsushi Ouchi

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

A California lawyer notified us that they received an email from the purported Atsushi Ouchi of Takasago Thermal Engineering Co looking to retain him with regards assisting on corporate matters, but in reality is likely a lead-up to a commercial debt collection scam or similar kind of scam.

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 to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists 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: Atsushi Ouchi [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 12:01 PM
To:
Subject: Legal Representative

We have communicate with a company whom are customers of ours in your state
regards merging, we like to merge with the company to increased revenue,
market share, and cross-selling opportunities.
We would like to retain you to help us in the process to review proposed
transactions for acquisitions or purchase of businesses and creation of
contracts for acquisition (merger), if you are interested

Please advice us on your initial retainer fee and agreement and we shall
forward you the company information and letter of intent.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr. Atsushi Ouchi
Takasago Thermal Engineering Co., Ltd.
4-2-5 Kanda Surugadai,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
101-8321, Japan
Tel : 81-3-3255-821
Email;[email protected]
http://www.tte-net.co.jp

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.