TOKYO (TR) – A mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is among four members of a fraud ring suspected in the swindling of victims in medical refund scams, reports TBS News (May 27).
Earlier this month, Sho Oba, 23-year-old resident of Koto Ward, and the three other members telephoned a woman in Saga Prefecture whereby the caller posed as a member of a government organization.
The caller told the woman that she was eligible for a deposit into her bank account for a refund of medical expenses. The suspects then obtained an ATM card for the woman and subsequently withdrew 1.8 million yen from an account.
A search of the headquarters of the ring, located in Edogawa Ward, by police resulted in the discovery of mobile phones and 300 nationwide telephone directories.
The suspects, who have been charged with computer fraud, deny the charges.
Police believe that the suspects were behind about a total of 50 similar incidents in which the victims were swindled out of about 50 million yen over a two-month period beginning in March.
In 2014, Oba was arrested for allegedly used a motorbike to steal a bag from a 48-year-old man in the Ikebukuro area of Toshima Ward the year before. News reports for that case described Oba as a member of the Sumiyoshi-kai organized crime group.
Several days after the robbery, Oba appeared at a police station to report that he committed the act after receiving an order from an upper-level gang member. He then went missing. Police subsequently tracked him down at a residence in Akita Prefecture.
As an MMA fighter, Oba has a record of 2-5. His last fight was in 2015, according to Tapology.com.