Commercial debt collection scam using the names Aoto Fukuhara and Tsuda Chemical Company
Date First Reported: June 2014
Primary Name Associated: Aoto Fukuhara
Description of Potential Fraud:
A Maryland firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Aoto Fukuhara of Tsuda Chemical Company Ltd looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.
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 contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:
On 06/09/14 10:32 PM, Aoto Fukuhara wrote:
Do you handle Business Litigation / breach of contract ? If you do let me know please .
Repyling to the email brought this response:
From: Aoto Fukuhara Fukuhara [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 9:48 AM
To: Hayden, John A.
Subject: RE: LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Thanks for the response to my email. We were contacted by a regional sales agent of Patterson Companies Inc who currently resides in your city and we were given a list of goods they wanted . We responded letting them know we had what they wanted and gave them our selling price. We agreed to deal with them and signed a contract. The terms of the contract required we pay a 50% down payment before we deliver the goods to them and also the balance to be paid after delivery .
However , after delivery , we have not received the balance payment . We tried to resolve this issue without getting any external party involved. Yet they have refused to see things our way and do business as we agreed .
We contacted the head office of Patterson Companies Inc and we were told to deal directly with the regional agent we have been in contact with .
Find below details of the regional sales agent for your conflict check.
Baltimore, Maryland Area Sales/Procurement Agent
Patterson Companies Inc .
We have come to understand that the regional sales agent and the company will not take us seriously and that is why we have chosen to fight this matter legally. We are sick and tired of writing emails that are taken for granted . We are running a business here and do countless transactions all over the world which involves money .We have to pay our staff, maintain the stability of our company and also meet up with demands of other clients. How are we supposed to do that with setbacks like this. We have to make profit to keep our business running. This is really heart breaking. What we require from you is this:
A: Review the documents attached to this email and let us know our weaknesses and how much chance we stand against Andrew Smith/Patterson Companies Inc .?
B: Let us know how long you think this case will take to be resolved.?
C: When it comes to court hearing , will i need to appear in person.?
D: We are ready to fight to get this money back even if it means involving litigation. So please let us know your fees and terms of your representation.
E: What would be your strategy
I know there is a lawyer-client retainer fee that may be paid in the process of the exercise, pending your conditions. Kindly, send me an engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue . I want to also let you know that I am open to either an hourly or contingency fee basis. Please advice which works better for you.
If you decide not to take this case let us know if you have referral .We appreciate your time and effort and will be expecting a response from you soonest.
Tsuda Chemical Company Ltd.
1-8-5 Sumiyoshi-Minamimachi. Higashinada-ku, Kobe, 6580041 JAPAN
Phone : 0-78-822-2144 / Fax : 0-78-822-2144
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.
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