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Date First Reported: August 2014

Primary Name Associated: Paula Chue

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Paula Chue looking to retain them with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation 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 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 email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: “Ms. Paula Chue”
Sent 8/21/2014 11:43:37 PM
To:
Subject: **SPAM** *Seeking assistance with my divorce separation/property settlement

Good day,

I am urgently seeking a legal assistance with my divorce separation/property agreement, I would appreciate your prompt response if this services can be provided by your firm.

Thank you,

Ms. Paula Chue

Replying to the email brought this response:

I thank you for your prompt response to my inquiry. I tried calling a couple of times but to no avail, and with the time difference(+13hrs EST) it is a little bit difficult to gauge the best time to reach you vice verse.

It is however worthy to note that I am currently in Japan with our children. My ex husband Jimmy Hitoshi and I were divorced in Japan but he has since relocated to Canada. he is a citizen.

The legal description of my case involved both of us agreeing under a Property and Settlement agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the final judgement of dissolution of marriage for a settlement of child support, spousal/partner support, and medical support of $1,530,050.00, of which $580,430.00 has been remitted by him leaving a balance of $949,620.00 to be paid. This is the reason why I need your firm as there is already an agreement in place. I know for sure my ex husband has the financial means to pay for balance he owes me. If your firm is retained, my expectation of your services for now will be within the scenario of a Demand Letter to my ex husband Jimmy. It is my believe that this approach will trigger the much needed response from him towards amicable settlement with him to pay the balance due for sure this time.

If it becomes necessary your firm can request that the attached Divorce Decree be registered in Canada for enforcement. The Separation Agreement would also be registered as it contains the current balances due.

Please find attached to this email are the scanned copy of the Property settlement agreement, and the Court’s Decree for your perusal and I will be pleased to provide further information on this case on request.

I do expect this to be resolved amicably and in a timely manner. If you can to take up this case, kindly send me a copy of your retainer agreement and if the terms are acceptable I will sign so we can commence the process without delay.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and professionalism.

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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.