TOKYO (TR) – Officers from the anti-organized crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday arrested an upper-level member of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate for fraud in a scheme to sell convertible bonds, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 11).
Between March and October of last year, Akira Yoshino, a 33-year-old resident of Setagaya Ward, allegedly swindled about 120 victims out of 360 million yen over the sale of convertible bonds for a registered but inactive technology firm. Investigators believe that a portion of the funds went directly to the Yamaguchi-gumi.
Yoshino has reportedly denied the allegations.
One victim, an 88-year-old male residing in Katsushika Ward, received a brochure soliciting purchases of convertible bonds of a registered IT company that had no real business. “You have been chosen out of a pool of 50 people,” the suspect said to the elderly man in a phone conversation while pretending to be an employee at a securities firm. “A purchase by you of a bond for 100,000 yen will be bought back later for 320,000 yen.” The victim eventually lost 50 million yen in total.
According to police, the scheme came to light following the questioning of a 38-year-old male representative of the IT firm, who was convicted of fraud related to the company’s registration. “I was involved in a terrible thing,” he is quoted by police.
Also being prosecuted is a 72-year-old notary public, who falsely registered information regarding the IT company’s capital.
The Mainichi Shimbun cites police data in reporting that the occurrence of such incidents is on the rise in Tokyo. Between February and November of last year, a total of 644 million yen was lost to similar fraud schemes, an increase over the 562 million yen recorded over the same time period the year before.