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Ex-fortuneteller suspected in ¥1.5 billion in investment swindles

OITA (TR) – Oita Prefectural Police have arrested a former fortuneteller who is suspected of swindling hundreds of victims out of 1.5 billion yen in investment scams, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 17).

Between September of 2014 and March of last year, Tomie Kurashige, 66, allegedly swindled four persons, including a 58-year-old woman living in Beppu City, out of 66 million yen by promising to invest the funds such that the principal and a dividend would be returned.

Kurashige, who has been accused of violating the Investment Deposit and Interest Rate Law, partially denies the allegations. “It was lending and borrowing of private money,” the suspect was quoted by the Beppu Police Station

According to police, Kurashige solicited funds from her former customers when she was a fortuneteller and their friends. The matter emerged when one of the victims lodged a complaint with the Beppu Police Station in September of last year.

Over the past 10 years, the suspect has received 1.5 billion yen in deposits to a bank account from about 200 victims, police said.

Police are now investigating whether to accuse Kurashige of fraud and other violations.