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Tokyo: Ward staff member suspected in ¥65 million swindle

Noboru Kobayashi
Noboru Kobayashi (Twitter)
TOKYO (TR) – Officials from a ward office have revealed that a former staff member swindled more than 60 million yen through the use of fake welfare accounts, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (July 4).

At a press conference on Wednesday, officials from Kita Ward said that Noboru Kobayashi, a 46-year-old resident of Saitama Prefecture, embezzled 65 million yen through the creation of 12 fake account cards while he was on staff. He was dismissed from his post as a case worker in June.

According to the results of an internal inquiry, the fraudulent activity took place between May of 2010 and this past March. Of those 12 cards, seven were fabricated for deceased persons. The other five were for persons who moved outside the ward.

Thus far, the Oji Police Station has accused Kobayashi of embezzling 2.2 million yen through the use of fake cards for three deceased persons between April and October of last year.

“I used [the money] on personal expenses, [betting on] horse races and [purchasing] stocks,” the suspect was quoted by police. “I’ve got about 10 million yen left.”

According to the ward, welfare payments are typically transferred to the beneficiary’s account or received in person at the office. As a case worker, Kobayashi used his position to receive the payments himself on behalf of the supposed recipients.

In May, the ward said that the total embezzled by Kobayashi was 30 million yen, a figure that the lasted information shows has doubled. With the internal investigation ongoing, the ward is expected to seek reimbursement of the funds from Kobayashi.