Date First Reported: September 2015

Primary Name Associated: Ken Yoshiro

Description of Potential Fraud:


Eight Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Ken Yoshiro of Kombaa Dredging looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.

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 purchaser (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 email sent to the lawyer after the initial contact is made:

Thank you for your email response, My company is in the process of selling one of its Dredgers. Please find below the name of the proposed buyer for your conflict check. I want to know your fee for preparing a purchase agreement.I’d like a telephone conversation but for the time difference between us ,it is difficult to know a convenient time to place a call to your office,but will check my email often for your letter.

Amec Earth Group & Environmental Services Mississauga, ON
L4Z 3K7 Canada

Find attached the Dredger information and the Term Sheet between us for your review. Please note: You are not to contact the proposed buyer unless you are advice to.We intend to retain your firm, so please prepare and send a formal Retainer Fee Agreement in your return email for our review and signature so you can proceed with the Agreement Drafting.

Mr. Ken Yoshiro (VP)
Kombaa Dredging Equipment
Chome-18-4 Yoshinocho
Kita Ward, Saitama,Japan

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.