AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have arrested four persons including Juna Yamada, a former member of idol group SKE48, over alleged participation in a scam based on currency exchange rates, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 16).
According to police, Yamada, 22, and three other suspects swindled more than 100 persons out of around 58 million yen.
The suspects allegedly collected funds from the victims in a so-called “binary option” scheme that involved currency exchange rates.
Such a scheme allows investors to choose whether to make a transaction at particular price and at a particular time in the future.
On Tuesday, police specifically accused Yamada of swindling a 23-year-old man living in Aichi Prefecture out of 500,000 yen in January of last year.
“I didn’t consider that [the scheme] was fraud,” Yamada told police in denying allegations of fraud. University student Reo Taguchi, 22, also denies allegations of fraud.
Meanwhile, the other two suspects, including 24-year-old Hiromu Kuramdadachi, deny allegations of fraud and violating the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions, police said.
Yamada’s role was to solicit victims via deai-kei matchmaking sites. During the exchanges, she did not reveal that she is a former member of SKE48.
Yamada joined SKE48 in 2013. She left the group two years ago.