Fraud alert and notice on court hearing fees
Bad cheque scam – real estate purchase by Kin Hang Cheung
June 1, 2012
Three BC lawyers in three different locations were requested to act on separate BC real estate purchases for Kin Hang Cheung, a new client outside of Canada. Giving an air of credibility, the three properties were listed with different BC realtors, who each made the lawyer referrals.
In each instance, Cheung provided a bad cheque for an amount much larger than required for deposit into the lawyer's trust account (e.g. $350,000 US). The scam appears to be that Cheung signs a contract of purchase and sale with a subject to inspection clause or that he has another avenue to back out of the deal. He will then ask for his deposit back, presumably by electronic transfer, less the lawyer's fees and disbursements. If the lawyer wires the funds from his or her pooled trust account, the lawyer's account will be short and perhaps overdrawn.
Cheung appears to have also been targeting lawyers and realtors in the United States.
Find out how to identify the scam and avoid being caught by reading the "Bad cheque" materials in Fraud Alerts. For confidential advice, contact practice advisor Barbara Buchanan (email@example.com or 604.697.5816).
Please note that real people with the same name may be a victim of a fraudster or of coincidence, but are not suspected of wrongdoing.
Court hearing fees (Vilardell v. Dunham)
The Court Services Branch advises that it has suspended the processing of payments or issuance of invoices for hearing fees for Supreme Court civil jury and non-jury trials and applications under Appendix C, Schedule 1, Items 9 and 10 of the Supreme Court Civil and Family Rules, while the matter of hearing fees is before the courts.
This is in response to the ruling in Vilardell v. Dunham, in which Hon. Mr. Justice McEwan found that hearing fees for trial required to be paid to government pursuant to what was then Appendix C, Schedule 1, Item 14 of the Supreme Court Rules, as amended, were unconstitutional. The Branch has been advised that the ruling is being appealed by government and a decision is pending regarding whether or not to file a motion to apply to the court for an order staying further proceedings.