Breach of IP agreement scam using the names Akihisa Mizuno and Chubu Electric Power Co
Date First Reported: October 2015
Primary Name Associated: Akihisa Mizuno
Description of Potential Fraud:
Two Illinois firms reported to us that they’ve been contacted by the purported Akihisa Mizuno of Chubu Electric Power Co regards to retaining their services to collect on a breach of a copyright agreement.
This appears to be a 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.
Here is the email received by the lawyer after responding to the initial LinkedIn contanct:
From: Akihisa Mizuno [email protected]
Date: October 22, 2015 at 4:46:13 AM CDT
Subject: Find the attached opposing party information for you to run conflict check
Thanks for your mail below is the other party information who has not settle the payment of $650,000.00 according to the termination term in the intellectual property agreement we both has sign, we shall forward it to you for your review if you have no conflict.
Power Volt Inc
300 Factory Road Addison
We have explored all avenues to resolve this issue amicably, unfortunately we have not progressed as expected, advice your standard retainer fee and forward us your Retainer Agreement once you clear with conflict check.
We are looking forward to working with you on this matter, have a nice day.
Chief Executive Officer
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
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 SheetMore 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.
October 26, 2015 at 2:06 pm, Scott said:
Apparently as a way of making the scam more credible, a LinkedIn account has been established in the name of Akihisa Mizuno, and “connection” invitations have been sent out. I looked at the profile after receiving the invitation yesterday. All it had was the name, the company, the CEO title, and, at the time, zero connections. Of course I rejected the connection request but when I checked the profile a few minutes later, there were 20 connections; today there are 40. Thanks to people accepting invitations indiscriminately, the profile is starting to look real.
November 04, 2015 at 2:28 pm, Patent Attorney said:
Received an invitation to the LinkedIn account on 11/4/15. I reported it as misrepresentation to their customer service. I find it highly unlikely that I would receive a LinkedIn request directly from Mizuno-san. Hopefully LinkedIn will look into this and take it down.
November 18, 2015 at 5:12 am, michael said:
Today, I got a message from this person. Fortunately, before replying to him, I did searches in internet and have found this website. Thanks for sharing this information! I just got a question: why police or other relevant authorities are not chasing this person in order to stop him from deceiving others? Why real Mr. Akihisa Mizuno is not interested in preventing this fraud affair to happen again? Too many questions, no answers. But fraudster still keeps getting in touch with people………
November 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm, TimLemieux said:
Its hard for the police to find these people over the internet, and the names they use change constantly.
April 08, 2016 at 1:46 pm, Chris said:
Received same scam but with “BoSung Electronics” as the “client” and “W. W. Grainger” as the “opposing party.” They even drafted up a fake contract that was supposedly breached! Really solid work on this one, guys!