Divorce settlement agreement scam by Harmony Young
Date First Reported: September 2012
Primary Name Associated: Harmony Young
Description of Potential Fraud:
Over a hundred lawyers in Canada and the U.S. have notified us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Harmony Young with regards to a to a collaborative family law agreement dispute. 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.
Updated Oct 2013: Toronto police are looking for additional information from anyone who has received this scam and come across the name “Joe Mathewson” in any of the responses from the fraudsters. Click here for more details
Here is the initial email:
I wish to file a contempt petition against my ex-spouse for breaching the court’s decree with regards to payment of divorce settlement. Please advise if you handle such case.
Email: [email protected]
A lawyer who replied received the following response and counterfeit documents:
Thank you for your prompt response to my inquiry. Am residing in South Korea for an assignment at present and my ex-spouse Shin Young lives in Oakbrook, Illinois. As a result of time difference it is a little bit difficult to reach you. We were divorced in South Korea but my ex-husband Shin Young relocated to the United States. He is a citizen. We both agreed under a Separation Agreement incorporated, merged into and made part of the court decree for a settlement of Child Support, Spousal Support, and Medical support of $941,100.00, he has paid me $270,500.00 but still owing $670,600.00 and the stipulated time for completion of payment has long elapsed. This is the reason why I contacted you 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. Thus, I request your legal services to enforce the court order compelling him to remit balance owed me. Attached is a copy of the terms of separation agreement, and the Court’s Decree (i.e. Divorce Decree) and I will be pleased to provide further information on this case on request.
I expect this to be resolved in a timely manner. Sequel to this, If you are happy to proceed, kindly send me a copy of your retainer 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.
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.