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Ex-Mitsui Bussan foundation staffer suspected of embezzling ¥30 million

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former staff member at the Mitsui Bussan Trade Promotion Foundation who is suspected of embezzling 30 million yen, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Feb. 25).

Thus far, police have accused Kyoko Matsumoto, 47, of misappropriating a total of 2.8 million yen from a foundation account through five transactions in April of last year.

Matsumoto, an accountant at the time, removed a bankbook and seal from the office to make the transactions. To cover the crime, she falsified the numbers on the bank balance certificates that she showed to her boss.

Upon her arrest on suspicion of corporate embezzlement, Matsumoto admitted to the allegations. “I withdrew a total of about 30 million yen,” suspect told the Hisamatsu Police Station. “I used the funds on living expenses, overseas trips and my child’s tuition.”

On two occasions, Matsumoto visited England. Among her purchases were organic vegetables, police said.

Kyoko Matsumoto (Twitter)

Based in Chuo Ward, the foundation provides scholarships and accommodation facilities to overseas students studying in Japan.

According to police and the foundation, Matsumoto is believed to have started the embezzlement in 2019.

The matter emerged in June of last year after another staff member noticed the balance in the account was decreasing. Matsumoto was dismissed the next month.

At that time, the association was providing 10 international students with scholarships for tens of thousands of yen per month. The case temporarily caused those payments to be delayed.