TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have announced the arrest of a 31-year-old man over the alleged sale of fake autographed photographs of a popular gravure idol via the marketplace app Mercari last year, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 19).
In June and July of last year, Hayato Tateishi, a resident of Sapporo, allegedly sold 13 photographs of Ami Inamura with her forged autograph to a 48-year-old man living in Shimotsuke City, Tochigi Prefecture for a total of 47,200 yen.
Tateishi, who has been accused of fraud, admit to the allegations. “I did it for pocket money,” the suspect was quoted by the Osaki Police Station.
According to police, the suspect claimed via the app that Imamura signed the photographs at an event. However, the style of writing for the autographs was slightly different from that of the idol.
The matter came to light when the agency of Inamura lodged a complaint with police in July, 2017.
“Regardless of whether the items are genuine or fake, I would like for people to stop buying from traders out to get money,” Imamura was quoted regarding the incident.