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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44638
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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I have been defrauded of a lot of money in a share trading

Customer Question

I have been defrauded of a lot of money in a share trading scam operating from Hong Kong. I am inquiring about approximate fees that would be charged by Hong Kong lawyers for taking action to find information about the beneficiaries bank accounts, to which I transferred the money in an attempt to trace and recover my money. My understanding is Hong Kong law does not allow pro bono arrangements.
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: All I know is that the Banks were HSBC Causeway Bay and Central Hong Kong and ICBC (Asia) Central Hong Kong. The fraud perpetrator office address does not exist. All the beneficiary companies have different addresses. There are five of them.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes. Reported to AFP (can't help - out of jurisdiction), Scam Watch and Hong Kong Police (no response). No court action as yet. Banks advised but not interested. My bank NAB has also been advised but cannot do anything.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have been in touch with one company Tanner Dewitt in Hong Kong who have given me a quote of about 1000 AUD/hr and they are asking for $10000 up front.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Evening,

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

You have to report the fraud to the HK police and Interpol.

If the police can locate the money they will deal with it you will not need to have a solicitor to act for you

Fraud is a criminal charge not a civil matter.

If you wish to sue the person for taking the money you have to show that he breached an agreement and if you were dealing with a company you have to sue the company not an individual .

But you have to first contact the police and see if they can follow up who owns the accounts and lay charges. This has to be done before you can do anything further

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance. If there is nothing further

thank you for using my services.

If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know

If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question was mainly about fees that Hong Kong lawyers would charge for handling a case like this. I have been in touch with a HK law firm - Tanner Dewitt who want 10000 AUD up front and charge 1000 AUD/hour. I wanted to get a feeling for whether this was a reasonable fee. I have reported it to the AFP - they have copies of all the relevant documents - and asked them to contact Interpol and the HK police. They declined saying it was out of their jurisdiction. Interpol just refer me back to the AFP. The Hong Police have not responded to my report made to their cybercrime website or to my phone calls to them. The address for the company that committed the fraud does not exist even though they are listed on the Hong Kong company register. I have very detailed records of the beneficiary bank accounts and records of all the transactions and contracts and receipts. I cannot see that I can take any other action than to trace the bank accounts if the police won't act. And then take action against through the HK court system.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

It is not uncommon for lawyers to ask for money upfront.

Law firms can charge what they want and they have to advise you of their charges.

$1,000.00 AUD is alot of money and depending on the firm and the position of the lawyer that will do the work is how is it calculated.

Larger firms in Sydney have partners that charge just under that. I cannot comment on what HK firms charge./

They are correct it is out of their jurisdiction. the AFP deal with fraud in australia.

As the accounts are in HK, then the HK police are the ones that have jurisdiction and you have to give them a detailed statement and if they believe there is enough for them to investigate then they will.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have given a very detailed statement to the HK police attached. And phoned them twice. They promised to get back to me but never did. I couldn't even verify they had read my report, but the did verify they had received it. As an example of my documentation I have attached a file "List of documents", which in total is too big to send by email. I have to send it by google drive etc. It seems if I am to get some response from the HK Police I will have to do something else, like write another letter instead of email to a senior officer
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

The police have to investigate and they take their time.

I cannot tell when you sent the complaint.

But they will not finalise it immediately.

These investigations can take years to chase up.

If you are not happy with their progress you can take it to the next level and seek the commissioner intervene.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
The date is in the top left corner of the first page - 26/4/2016
Expert:  Leon replied 12 months ago.

Good Afternoon

5 months is not unreasonable for such an investigation.

They take time and anything up to 12 months would not be unreasonable.

But you cannot hold too much hope in getting your money back. In most cases the fraudsters have no money and they would go to jail and you lose your money.