NAGANO (TR) – An employee at Nagano Tokyu Department Store in Nagano City stole and resold precious-metal goods over an extended period, the company revealed on Monday while announcing a delay in its earnings release, reports the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (May 24).
The company did not disclose the extent of the damage nor the period that the fraud took place, but indicated that the losses are potentially significant enough to cause a delay in the release of its settlement of accounts for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, which was originally set for Tuesday. The report will instead be released on May 30.
“The specific method and motives are, at this point, unknown,” the company said.
A third-party committee that includes lawyers was formed on May 15, and is currently investigating any fraudulent activity that took place before 2015. The company will consider criminal charges depending on the results of the investigation.
Another employee reported that the employee in question, who is currently suspended and remains anonymous, was possibly involved in inappropriate conduct in late April, the company said. The employee then admitted to committing fraudulent activities in 2016 and 2017 at the very least during questioning.
According to the company, the employee was able to take precious metal-related goods outside of the company for such purposes as out-of-store sales. When taking a product out of the department store, the employee usually reported to their superior before making a sale and submitting a slip to the company. The employee would then report to the results to their superior even when a sale wasn’t made.
The company also conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which confirmed fraudulent activity before 2016. “There needs to be clarification of what happened in the case, including what caused it,” the company said.