Date First Reported: September 2013

Primary Name Associated: Terumaro Hiramota

Description of Potential Fraud:


A Californa firm has reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Osamu Tezuka Makoto of ALC Press Inc with regards to retaining their services to collect on a breach of an IP 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 party in breach of the agreement (who is also 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.

Tezuka Production Company appears to be a real company whose name is being used in this fraud and the fraudsters are impersonating Osamu Tezuka Makoto.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Terumaro Hiramoto [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:03 PM
Subject: Legal Representative

Dear Counsel,

We are media publisher company and we have IP / Litigation agreement matter please advise us on your standard retainer fee
so that we can forward you the agreement for your review and run a conflict check.

Yours Sincerely

Mr. Terumaro Hiramoto
LC P???
ALC Press Inc.
2-54-12 Eifuku, Suginami-ku,
Tokyo,168-8611 Japan
Email;[email protected]

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.