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Saitama: Woman, 83, suspected in ¥300 million fraud

SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police have re-arrested an 83-year-old woman who is suspected of swindling dozens of persons in an investment fraud, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 7).

Beginning in 1995, Toshiko Otawa swindled 28 men and women in 12 administrative districts nationwide out of a total of about 300 million yen by claiming to have a knowledge of foreign exchange markets and other investments.

After the victims handed over the funds, Otawa never returned them. The Urawa-Nishi Police Station is now investigating what she did with the money.

In the case for which she was most recently arrested, Otawa allegedly told one female victim, 71, “The price of gold will rise due to the influence of the Tokyo Olympics [in 2020]. An investment will be profitable.”

Toshiko Otawa (Twitter)

Through this past April, Otawa defrauded the woman out of 190,000 yen. “I do not recall [the matter],” Otawa was quoted by police in denying the allegations.

In September, police first arrested Otawa for using similar means to swindle a male acquaintance out of 1.36 million yen.

For claims by some of the victims, the statute of limitations have expired, police said.