TOKYO (TR) – A convicted financial fraudster was found dead after a fire at his residence in Katsushika Ward last week, police said, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 21).
At around 8:15 a.m. on February 20, a neighbor to the second-floor residence, located in the Minamimizumoto area, alerted emergency services after noticing the outbreak of fire.
About one hour later, a fire crew extinguished the blaze, which burned the entirety of the 25-square-meter residence. Personnel later found the corpse likely belonging to 66-year-old Shigeki Nakae in the ruins of the fire.
In the 1980s, Nakae was the chairman of Toshi Journal, the investment consulting firm that collected over 58 billion yen from 8,000 people. In 1984, the firm went bankrupt.
Toshi Journal promised quick profits through stock speculation. However, the structure of the firm was such that assets were far less than what was necessary to repay investors.
Nakae was arrested on suspicion of defrauding investors out of 1.83 billion yen in 1985. Four years later, a court sentenced him to six years in prison.
Update: Though the cause of the fire is under investigation, police suspect it started via a lit cigarette, report NHK (Feb. 25).