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Nagano cops nab temple priest in ¥78 million embezzlement

Hiraki Inoue
Hiraki Inoue has been accused of embezzling 78 million yen

TOKYO (TR) – Nagano Prefectural Police have arrested a former priest at a temple in Nagano City accused of embezzling 78 million yen in donations before disappearing, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 8).

In February of 2013, Hiraki Inoue, 67, a former priest at Joen-ji Temple, allegedly transferred 7.8 million yen from an account containing donations obtained from parishioners for the reconstruction of a facility and maintenance the temple grounds to a separate account.

Inoue, who has been charged with corporate embezzlement, denies the allegations. “It was donated money,” the suspect is quoted by the Nagano-Minami Police Station.

In the summer of 2014, Inoue left word with the temple that he was “going to Tokyo.” He subsequently went missing.

By December of 2014, the maintenance had still not been completed and Inoue’s whereabouts still not accounted for. A complaint alleging embezzlement totaling 78 million yen was subsequently lodged with police.

Police arrested Inoue in Tokyo on Wednesday after learning that he had been frequenting a particular shop, according to TV Asahi (Feb. 8).