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Missing former accountant at Yokohama club turns himself over to police

The Yokohama Country & Athletic Club (The Tokyo Reporter)
The Yokohama Country & Athletic Club (The Tokyo Reporter)

KANAGAWA (TR) – An athletic club located in the Yamate area of Yokohama has announced that a former accountant who disappeared prior to the discovery of fraudulent activity has been located.

In a message dated July 9, the board of directors of the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club (YC&AC) informed members that Jiro Uchida has surfaced following an incident in April in which he is believed to have faked his death by pretending to have drowned.

“This past week, Uchida has returned to Yokohama and presented himself to Yamate police station where he admitted to wrong conduct,” the message said. “The police unfortunately will not provide any information other than they are continuing their investigation without arresting him as of today. Police have told Uchida to remain in contact with the police.”

As previously reported, Uchida never returned home after he went surfing on the morning of April 20.

“A subsequent search took place and his bicycle and beach sandals were discovered on a beach in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture,” wrote president Richard Gustafson in a letter to members dated April 28. “The police later reported that they believed he may have drowned while surfing.”

However, suspicions were raised after a number of accounting irregularities were discovered in the club’s books. At a town hall meeting held on May 1 at the YC&AC, the president told approximately 50 members that Uchida may have played a role in the loss of approximately 27 million yen through various forgeries and fraud.

“Claim for damages”

Founded in 1868, the YC&AC offers foreign and Japanese members access to athletic facilities, including a pool, tennis courts and a multi-purpose field, and two bars and a restaurant.

In Gustafson’s letter, he indicated that the club “was working quickly to address the issues that allowed this to occur.” With Uchida now located, legal action may be next.

“Separate from any charges the police may bring, the board of directors has engaged with legal counsel to make a claim for damages for the embezzled funds,” the message dated July 9 read.