TOKYO (TR) – Homebuilder Sekisui House was swindled in a land deal valued at more than 6 billion yen earlier this year, the company revealed on Wednesday, reports TV Asahi (Aug. 3).
Between April and June, Sekisui House engaged in negotiations for the purchase of a 2,000-square-meter property. Located in Shingawa Ward, the property is suitable for the construction of an apartment building.
After paying 6.3 billion yen through a real estate company (the total purchase price was 7.0 billion yen) to a woman who claimed to be the owner on June 1, the homebuilder applied with the regional legal affairs bureau for the change in ownership of the property’s registration.
However, the request was denied eight days later once it was revealed that a passport and other documents provided by the woman were found to be forgeries. The whereabouts of the woman are now unknown.
Sekisui House has since lodged a complaint with Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
One of Japan’s largest homebuilders
Founded in 1960, Sekisui House is headquartered in Osaka. It is one of Japan’s largest homebuilders.
“We are now focusing on the proceedings for securing and collecting the money which [we] paid as well as fully cooperating in the investigation into this incident,” the company, said in a statement released on August 2.
Tokyo police suspect that the company has been victimized by a group fraudulent land brokers that sell land they do not own.
Earnings not impacted
In the same statement, the company said that the incident does not change its previously announced earnings forecasts for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2018.
“We sincerely apologize to all those involved for any concern caused in relation to this matter,” the statement continued. “In response to this incident, [we are] reviewing the rules for real estate transactions. We will endeavor to ensure that similar incidents are prevented in the future.”