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Ex-Saitama assemblyman accused of misappropriating funds

SAITAMA (TR) – A former member of the Saitama prefectural assembly has been accused of misappropriating government funds in a five-year scam, investigative sources with the Saitama Prefectural Police have revealed, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 27).

Between 2011 and 2016, Tsutomo Sawada, 50, falsely claimed to have placed orders for stamps, leaflets and other promotional materials with a company in Saitama City while he was a member of the assembly. In the scam, he presented fake receipts in order to pocket about 12 million yen in government funds for the unplaced orders.

He was sent to prosecutors at the Saitama District Public Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of fraud and forgery of documents on August 24. “I forged receipts because expense money from the government ran out,” Sawada was quoted in admitting to the allegations.

Tsutomo Sawada
Tsutomo Sawada (Twitter)

In July, the matter surfaced while Sawada was serving his second term for the assembly. In tending his resignation, he returned 5.45 million yen.