Date First Reported: January 2012

Primary Name Associated: Michelle Eley

Description of Potential Fraud:


A lawyer in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan have notified us that they have been contacted by the purported Michelle Eley with regards to a divorce settlement agreement. We saw this name a few times in 2010 as well. This is a fraud we have seen before under several other names and similar scenarios. For details on how this fraud works and a full list of names attached to it see our Confirmed Fraud page.

There are two versions of the initial contact email. One short, one long:

Here is the short one:

From: Michelle Eley [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:27 PM
To: lawyer name
Subject: divorce

I urgently require your service in regards to my divorce settlement.I wait to hear from you before going into details.

and here is the long one:

From: Michelle Eley [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: November-14-11 12:37 PM
To: lawyer name
Subject: Re: Legal Assistance

I urgently require your service to help collect my divorce settlement from my ex. I am currently living in
Selangor, Malaysia and Wayne Daniel lives in saskatchewan and the divorce decree is in Saskatchewan, with
the time difference( + 13hrs EST) it is a little bit difficult to guess the best time to reach you vice verse on phone.
We agreed under this Collaborative Law Agreement for a one time cash settlement of $450,000.00 to his
credit, he has paid me $120,000.00 but still owing $330,000.00. He is aware of my intention to seek legal
actions .The lawyer that helped me with the matter earlier is retired now. I will be pleased to provide further information on this matter on request. Iexpect this to be a non-litigation matter. I have already advised him I am planning on retaining your firm. Please send me an agreement! retainer form so that we can proceed. Also send me the payment information of your firm just in case my ex-husband wants to make the full payment he owes payment without further delays or possible litigation. Thank you and have a pleasant day.


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 SheetMore 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.