Date First Reported: October 2014

Primary Name Associated: Yasuo Hirose

Description of Potential Fraud:

fraud-warning

Firms in California, Tennessee and New York have notified us that they received an email from the purported Yasuo Hirose and Mitsumi Electric Co. looking to retain them with regards to arranging a merger between two companies.

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 one of the “merging companies” (in reality, the cheque is sent from the fraudsters). 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 from the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Yasuo Hirose [[email protected]]

To: {ATTORNEY NAME}
Subject: MERGER AND ACQUISITION INQUIRY

Dear [ATTORNEY NAME},

I am YASUO HIROSE (General Manager- Sales) Mitsumi Electric Co.Ltd, JAPAN. I got your firm’s contact details after a rigorous internet search for a reputable law firm with experience in Mergers and Acquisition in your area. We have communicated with a company whom are customers of ours in your state regarding a merger, we will like to merge with the company to increase revenue, market share, and cross-selling opportunities in the United States.

We would like to retain you to help us in the process to review proposed transactions for acquisitions or purchase of businesses and creation of contracts for acquisition (merger).

If you are interested, Please advice us on your initial retainer fee and agreement and we shall forward you the company information and letter of intent.

PS: Due to language barrier and time difference, communication via e-mail will be most preferable at this time.

Yours Sincerely
Yasuo Hirose
General Manager- Sales
Mitsumi Electric Co. Ltd.
Head Office
2-11-2, Tsurumaki, Tama-shi,
Tokyo, 206-8567, JAPAN
TEL 042-310-5333
FAX 042-310-5158

Replying to the email brought this response and fake documentation:

We have advised the target company that we have communicate with your firm for representation in this matter of merger and we are delighted to inform you that we received a message from Target Company that they have sent you a part payment of $350,000.00 as stated in the LOI.
Its great opportunity to collect our money from them so please accept the payment and deduct your fee from the payment by notifying us once you have receive and deposit the payment in your account . We shall forward you our account information for the funds to be remitted after the deduction of your retainer.
Please let wait and see if they usually paid the money before we continue with the merger.
Yours Sincerely,

Yours Sincerely
Yasuo Hirose

Hirose CONFIDENTIAL LETTER OF INTENT

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. Instructions on how to report a claim are here.

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.

Categories: Fraud Warnings