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Chiba: Ex-SMBC employee suspected in theft of ¥500 million from accounts of customers

in Matsudo City
A female employee at a branch of SMBC in Matsudo City is believed to have stolen nearly 500 million yen from the accounts of customers dating back to 2009 (Twitter)

CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested a former employee at a branch of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC) in Matsudo City who is believed to have defrauded customers out of nearly 500 million yen, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 7).

Thus far, Yukari Takahashi, a 35-year-old resident of Matsudo, has been specifically accused of accessing the accounts of customers online in stealing 16.1 million yen on four occasions in March and April of 2011. As well, she allegedly forged seals of customers on five occasions in stealing 2.3 million yen in cash from accounts.

Takahashi, who has been accused of computer fraud and theft, admits to the allegations. “The majority was funneled into foreign-exchange trading,” the suspect was quoted by police.

According to police, Takahashi carried out some of the crimes under the false pretense that bank books and seals had been lost. She then produced new bank books.

Beginning in 2009, the suspect is believed to have swindled customers out of a total of 480 million yen.

The matter emerged after a customer lodged an inquiry in June of 2016. Takahashi was subsequently dismissed. The bank lodged a criminal complaint with police in October of last year.

“We are taking the matter seriously, and we are deeply reflecting on the situation,” a representative of SMBC was quoted.