Separation agreement scam using the name Marina Kitaya (or Marina Chang)
Date First Reported: November 2013
Primary Name Associated: Marina Kitaya
Description of Potential Fraud:
[Updated March 2014]
Fifteen lawyers in Ontario and the U.S. have advised us that they received an email from the purported Marina Kitaya (or Marina Chang) 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, subsequent response and fake documentation:
From: Marina Kitaya [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: November-24-13 2:54 PM
Subject: Dear Counsel,
I wish to file a case against my ex-husband ( Andre Kitaya ) for
failure to complete
court ordered payments of Child Support, Spousal Support, Equitable
distribution and Medical support in our separation agreement. Kindly
respond to confirm your readiness to assist.
I am earnestly waiting for your reply.
Marina Kitaya .
Replying to the email brought this response:
Thank you very much. I do believe that a reputable law firm like ( FIRM NAME) will be highly appreciated to handle this matter,and i am convince that we are going to collect this funds in no distance time.Our last conversation for letting him know am using your firm to pusue my settlement, he stated he knew about your firm.
I will be happy to have the agreement form review and sign to get my funds back to me from my ex-husband, he has showed me that he is not ready to complete my funds anytime soon. In the agreement Andre was will to paid $950,500.00 and he only paid $251,500.00 . I will make arrangement to pay the initiate require legal fees. I am really looking forward to your service to collect these funds from him as soon as we can.Please let me know if you got the attachment?
I look forward hearing from you soon,
2-1-2 Osaki, Shinagawa-Ku Tokyo
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.
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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.
July 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm, Feyza Gerger Erdal said:
I am the founding partner of Erdal Law Firm which is an international boutique law firm established in Turkey.
Marina Kitaya is active in Istanbul! I received an email from her yesterday evening (21st of july 2015) and she has stated that:
“Attention: Counsel ,
I received a message from my ex-spouse this morning stating he is
willingness to make part payment with me to avoid litigation.I advised him
that the account have been taken over by my lawyer in Turkey. He
was asking me to provide the following information from you to make part
payment immediately. Which i provided it to him.
The retainer fee and all agreed monies due to your firm will be deducted
from this payment upon receipt. Please contact me if you have any
questions or concerns. I will be in the office in few hours, and am aware
of the time difference.What would be the right time to speak with you on
the telephone? Thank you
I look forward hearing from you.
2-1-2 Osaki, Shinagawa-Ku Tokyo
Thank you for posting this warning.
September 08, 2015 at 1:28 pm, Victor said:
They just arrived to Panama!! Thks for the website I just find out today but I replyed yesterday.
September 09, 2015 at 1:23 pm, Marina said:
The husband is purported to be in Trinidad and Tobago. I received an email recently.
September 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm, Kerrie Cox said:
Andre Kitaya is now in the Cayman Islands apparently
September 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm, Att.Nemes said:
I have just been contacted by these people in Hungary as an attorney, a fake cheque and divorce sentence has been sent as well. The case is now at the police.
October 12, 2015 at 8:36 am, Lawyer Pancrazio Timpano said:
We receive that in CTM Avvocati which is an international boutique law firm established in Milan- Italy too.
Marina Kitaya seem is active in Italy too! LOL, it seem her husband have a lot girls around the world.
Thank you for posting this warning.
Da: Marina kitaya
Inviato: lunedì 12 ottobre 2015 13:21
Oggetto: Dear Counsel
Please would like to know if your chamber handles and treat family law cases? you need to know how worrisome I am, as I need your assistance in getting my dispute with my ex resolved, would also be grateful if you refer me to another firm that handles family law matters.
My ex-husband ( Andre Kitaya )who reside in your jurisdiction has
failed to complete court ordered payments of Parenting Plans, Child Support, Spousal Support, Parental Responsibilities and Rights,Equitable distribution and Medical support in our separation agreement.
Kindly respond to confirm your readiness to assist as i furnish you with the required information’s and documents for your proceedings.
I am earnestly waiting for your reply;
March 23, 2016 at 1:07 am, Todd said:
They are now active in Canada again. Exactly the same numbers. I thought it was briefly legit because I do a lot of work in the Korean community, but alas.
I get similar scammers “from Japan” from time to time but I speak Japanese and when you google their address it’s often the Osaka power authority’s head office.