On June 6, officers took the manager of Francesca Bianchi Limited, 40-year-old Mayumi Okata, and four other employees into custody on suspicion of violating special business transaction laws regarding false claims in the conditions of a contract.
Between June 2010 and November of last year, the company, located in Minato Ward, is alleged to have coerced 400 women, aged between 22 and 35, into contracts for beauty treatments and products worth 500 million yen. The value of each contract was between 100,000 and 2.5 million yen.
The matter came to light after a group of three women, including a 29-year-old from Musashino City, filed a claim with authorities about being brought to Francesca Bianchi via Mixi and unjustly coerced into contracts extending between November of 2011 and June of last year. “The regular price for 20 sessions is four million yen but we can consider you a relative and offer the same treatment for 1.5 million yen,” the women were allegedly told by the company.
Starting last June, the Tokyo Metropolitan government ordered that the operations of Francesca Bianchi be suspended.