KUMAMOTO (TR) – Kumamoto Prefectural Police have cracked down on an investment group that is suspected of swindling thousands of persons out of around 4 billion yen, reports NHK (Jan. 22).
Thus far, police have accused Tetsuya Minase, a 41-year-old resident of Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto, and two others of swindling a woman in her 50s who runs an English school in Tokyo.
“If you deposit 500,000 yen in cash, you will receive a dividend of 100,000 yen every month, with the principal guarantee,” Minase reportedly told her at a seminar at a hotel in Tokyo’s Minato Ward last February.
Minase denies the allegations. “It is true that we raised money, but we did not cheat anyone,” Minase was quoted.
According to police, the suspects ran the “God Group,” which used seminars to encourage attendees to join a community on the smartphone app Line.
Persons who raised questions about details of the God Group’s investment strategy at the seminars were excluded from joining the Line community. The investments were made through the community.
The group also encouraged current members to recruit others to join, providing them with a referral fee of 100,000 yen for each new member, police said.
Police arrested the two other suspects, a man and a woman, on January 15. They were later released.
“A person is chasing me,” the man reportedly said last February in revealing the scam to police. An investigation ensued.
During questioning, Minase said that he collected 4 billion yen in investments from 3,000 people over the past 10 years, with the majority of them being from the Kanto and Kyushu regions.