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Ex-Sumitomo Heavy employee suspected in ¥640 million embezzlement

TOKYO (TR) – A former secretary at Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) is suspected of embezzling more than 600 million yen from the company, police said, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 9).

Thus far, police have accused Junko Tamura, 60, who was in charge of accounting for the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Trade Union Federation, of using a company computer to transfer 50 million yen from a bank account for union pensions to an account of her own.

All told, Tamura is believed to have used similar means to misappropriate a total of 640 million yen. Tamura, who was arrested on Tuesday, admits to the allegations, police said.

According to police, the funds were used to purchase a Porsche sports car, brand-name goods, including an Hermes bag, and six horses that compete in equestrian events. It is believed that one of the horses won a national event.

Junko Tamura (Twitter)

After an examination of the union’s accounts that took place to coincide with a change in executives in January, 2018, Tamura disappeared. She later sent an email to an executive that read, “I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

After the union checked the accounts, the misappropriations emerged. Tamura was disciplined and fired that February. The company then contacted Tokyo police.

SHI was founded in 1980. As of March of last year, the union included 7,100 workers.

Tamura joined in 1982. “It is regrettable that a former employee was arrested,” the company told the Yomiuri.