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Date First Reported: February 2016

Primary Name Associated: Chou Asami

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Firms in New York and Texas have notified us that they received an email from the purported Chou Asami of Fujitsu Medical looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This appears to be a 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 purchaser (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 email received by the lawyers

From: Fujitsu Medical X-Ray Equipment [email protected]
Date: Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 6:21 AM
Subject: Legal Request!!!
To:

Dear Counsel,

Our company would like to sue our customer/client for breach of contract and we are looking for a lawyer who has experience in the field of litigation law. Please contact us for more details if you handle such cases.

Regards,
Chou Asami

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thank you for your response to our legal request for a case of Breach of Contract. Here’s a summary of our company’s request for litigation attorney/contract dispute Attorney. Some months ago our Company (Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment based in Japan) order some goods from Airgas Inc, after much deliberations between both companies regarding price, terms and condition, our Company (Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment) decides to executed their sale contract agreement by signing it.

Prior to Airgas contract agreement, that our company, (Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment) must pay 50% of the total worth of goods before the delivery of goods to our company (Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment) in Japan, Which we complied by paying 50% of the total cost of the goods we ordered from Airgas and we expected Airgas Inc to deliver the goods according to the contract agreement that was signed by both companies, but surprisingly the goods were not delivered at the expected delivery date and despite all our reminders and follow ups notification to Airgas Inc, the goods were still not delivered to Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment, so therefore we had to terminate the contract and requested full refund of our money that was paid to Airgas Inc and they have since refuse to comply with the refund of our company funds. This has dragged on for a very long time and our company has run out of patient and time. So we decided to engage the services of a reputable law firm like yours to handle this case for our company. Below is the details of the company (Airgas Inc) for a your conflict check.

Airgas Inc.
510 Aldine Bender
Houston, TX 77060
USA

We want a complete retrieval of every dollar that was paid to Airgas Inc. This breach of contract has been going on for long and our company has been taken for a ride and also taken for granted by Airgas Inc. We require your advice and services to explore all options available to us, including litigation to retrieve our funds back. This transaction break-down has made our company incur some avoidable losses because our company handles volumes of transactions and try to met with our customers demand. Also our company’s stability and staffs welfare are paramount to us. All these we cannot achieve if we incur cruel losses such as this breach of contract by Airgas Inc because our business needs to be competitive, strong and relevant. So therefore all related documents pertaining to this botched transaction are attached to this email.

kindly address our concerns in your next email.
Do you sense any frailty in our case? How will the distance be taken care of when the time for court appearance comes. Can this be handled without us not showing up in USA? How often do you handle such cases? What charges should we be looking at? Are there any guarantees? what is our defense if they file for bankruptcy?

Provide us with your firm Retainer Fee Agreement in your next email for our perusal or please provide us with a referral if you cannot take our case.

Regards,
Chou Asami
Managing Director
Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equip.

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 are an Ontario lawyer who suspects 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.

What can you do to help put a stop to the fraud attempt? You can simply stop replying to the fraudster’s emails or inform them that you suspect fraud and will not act on the matter (or will take no further actions on the matter). You can report the fraudsters email addresses to the email hosting company. If you have a fraudulent cheque you can destroy it or send it to the fraud department of the financial institution, which may wish to see it. In Canada, you can report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

We are often asked if it is worthwhile to report the fraud attempt to the police in the hopes of helping catch the fraudsters. You can certainly report the fraud to your local or federal law enforcement agencies, but unfortunately it is often difficult, expensive and time consuming for them to attempt to shut down these online fraud perpetrators (though there are some successes).

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.