Yakuza nabbed in ¥450 million loan sharking scheme

Joji Matsuoka
Joji Matsuoka (Fuji News Network)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested an organized crime member who is suspected of swindling hundreds of persons out of more than 450 million yen via a loan sharking scheme, reports TBS News (Jan. 7).

Between February and March of 2011, Joji Matsuoka, a 50-year-old upper-level member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, obtained a total of 43 million yen from an officer of a construction company on loans totaling 15.3 million.

Matsuoka has been accused of lending money without proper authorization at an interest rate 15 times that allowed under the Money Lending Business Act. The suspect denies the allegations, according to the Hisamatsu Police Station.

Police have confirmed that Matsuoka received deposits totaling 460 million yen in several bank accounts from at least 300 persons over a nine-year period ending last year. The funds are believed to have been interest payments for illegal loans of 230 million, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 7).

The scheme was likely a source of funds for the Yamaguchi-gumi, police said.

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