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Tokyo police bust head of virtual currency exchange on suspicion of fraud

Yuki Takenaka of Ripple Trade Japan
Yuki Takenaka of Ripple Trade Japan

TOKYO (TR) – An online crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police has arrested the head of an exchange for the virtual currency ripple on suspicion of fraud, reports the Jiji Press (Oct. 18).

On March 3, 2015, Yuki Takenaka, the 31-year-old head of Ripple Trade Japan (RTJ), allegedly received via bank transfer 1.4 million yen in cash from a 41-year-old male resident of Miyagi Prefecture despite knowing that the change was essentially bankrupt.

Between February and March, Takenaka is believed to have utilized similar means to swindle more than 40 customers nationwide out of roughly 17 million yen.

Takenaka, a resident of Kyoto, generally admits to the allegations, police said.

RTJ was established in May of 2014 in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Users of such an exchange deposit money to obtain digital ripple credits that can be exchanged for other currencies or redeemed for cash.

Spent funds on entertainment

Takenaka is also suspected of fraudulently obtaining 120 million yen worth of credits through the exchange between around November of 2014 and February of the following year. The suspect likely redeemed the credits for cash on other exchanges and spent the funds on entertainment, police said.

The matter came to light in March of 2015 after customers of RTJ claiming that they were unable to withdraw their deposits began consulting with police.