Fraud alert

Phony debt collection scams take many forms

July 21, 2011

Editor's note: This fraud alert includes names used by fraudsters in BC. Real people with the same names may be the victims of a fraudster or of coincidence, but are not suspected of wrongdoing.

Fraudsters continue to ask lawyers to pay money out of trust based on a fake deposit, often under the guise of collecting on a phony debt. Some of the different fraud scenarios and names that fraudsters have used include: 

  • Commercial loan agreement – David Lawson, James Gilliard, Mark Rudic, Yu Shengli, Dr. Richard Abramovic, Izzabin Bin Aris
  • Personal injury settlement between employee and employer – Terry Sullivan, Patrick Cluster, Graham Jackie Lunn
  • Commercial invoices – Mark Branson, Alice Wood, Bessant James, Shi Quen, Qui Xiandong
  • Collaborative divorce agreement – Donna Chipman,  Kathy Scotia, Mima Oshiro,  Masako Kazue, Rika Takahashi, Tanako Masato, Julie Burany, Brenda Blumenkrantz, Alice Goldbery, Zaria Hoshiko

In all of these scams, the client needs the lawyer to deposit and pay out on a certified cheque or other negotiable instrument before discovering it’s fake. Waiting for the cheque to clear may help but not eliminate the risk if the financial institution later finds that the instrument was bad.

Protect yourself. Find out how to identify the scam and avoid being caught by reading the Bad cheque materials or for confidential advice, contact a practice advisor (bbuchanan@lsbc.org).