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Date First Reported: February 2014

Primary Name Associated: Ray Nishimoto

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

[Updated March 2014]

11 firms in Ontario, BC and Alberta have notified us that they received an email from the purported Ray Nishimoto of Sumitomo Chemical Co looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

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, subsequent reply and fake documentation:

From: Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited
Date: Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 3:19 PM
Subject: Collection File
To:

Dear Counsel,

We need a litigation lawyer who can handle a collection case. Please let me know if you can be of assistance to me or If not a referral could be helpful.

Regards,
Ray Nishimoto.
Managing Executive Officer and Director

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thank you very much for your response, I have received your mail, first I must thank you for your response. I will establish a call through to you soonest. Like in my first email to you, we are of the opinion that a reputable law firm is required to represent us in order for us to recover monies due to our organization by overseas customers.

We seek your representation to collect monies in your province due to the language barrier we find problem with dealing directly with our customers, so to this end your legal advice and good reputation will be required to handle this service.

I am Ray Nishimoto, the Managing Executive Officer and Director SUMITOMO CHEMICAL CO., LTD.; we are group of business men who deal on import and export of Chemical material into the Canada/America and Europe.

I hope to have informed you correctly and wait to hear from you soon, such that you can advise on the very next step to take in this Endeavor. Upon your response and acceptance to assist us, i will forward to you the Purchase Order and Invoice. Due to time difference we cannot determine the best time to call you.

Kencro Chemicals Limited
2192 Wyecroft Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6L 6R1
Canada

Thanks In advance.

Regards,
Ray Nishimoto.
Managing Executive Officer and Director

Nishimoto passport

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.