Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Leader of gang that stole Y3 bil from elderly through scams busted


Police have arrested the leader of a gang believed to be responsible for stealing over 3 billion yen by selling non-existent bonds to vulnerable and elderly people.

The man, who has been named as 28-year-old Kenji Matsushita, is accused of offering to sell fictional bonds to elderly victims on the promise of buying them back at a better rate on a future date, Fuji TV reported. In one such case in May of this year, police say he was able to fraudulently receive 20 million yen from an 83-year-old woman in Saitama.

Police had been searching for Matsushita, who handled all of the group's stolen funds, but had been unable to trace him until earlier this year when an anonymous source wrote, "A Tokyo fraudster is spending millions of yen in a Sapporo cabaret club," on an Internet forum. Police say this information led to his eventual arrest on Monday.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment


Why did this woman have that much money?

because previous generation knew how to save money?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Throw the book at this scum scammer.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Excellent! Great job police...hope this story gets much media coverage.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Lock them up and throw away the key. I loathe scum who prey on the elderly!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This guy needs a public stoning

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The footage was on TV last night... He looks like true scum; didnt bother hiding his face or anything - hope he gets done hard.

Basroil - 20 million yen is not exactly a ridiculous amount of money; especially for anyone who has worked a semi-decent job. Japanese people can be very good savers, and its not unusual for someone in a regular job to have 10 million saved by the time they are 30.

Last time i spoke to an investment planner we worked out that i would need a lot more than 20 mil in a retirement fund in order to survive comfortably

5 ( +6 / -1 )

These crooks need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@basroil 1,000,000JPY per year? Really?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally a good job by the J-cops. I hope they throw the book at him and then some.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Yeah, but you would be living in Hokkaido boondocks. At a very old age. Is this a good end to your life? Not that I have anything against Hokkaido, but it isn't Tokyo/other metro areas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's really no business of anyone's (beside the authorities and the lady and her family) how much much she saved or has/had, where she got the money, or what her pension payments and bills are. This was her money and it was taken fraudulently. This money could've helped her if she needed a nursing home in her later years or if she wanted to give it to her grandchildren or if she wanted to party hard before she passes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

3 billion yen


700-800k a year

Most of my neighbours would ever discuss their living costs with anyone - let alone me.

They need to write a book on how to survive on so little.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Note that when talking investment plans the amount you need is calculated on a perpetual income - i.e. having enough money in an investment fund that it generates as much profit per month as you need to live comfortably.

I wouldnt want to calculate on having enough to cover 20 years worth of living expenses, and then suddenly find out i am blessed with longevity; or fall for some scam that leaves me without money to keep living

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice to see these a-holes get nailed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am interested in the cultural psychology of scams.

The scam that seems to be prevalent in the West (UK/US) is the Nigerians, 419, advance fee fraud. They tell you that you will get lots of money if you pay an advance fee. The victims become victims because they have a tendency to believe that they are lucky. "I new I'd hit it rich one day."

The scam that has seemed to be prevalent in Japan is the "ore-ore," where they tell victims that they are the last resort of a desperate grand-child who has just had an accident, or otherwise needs money due to some liability. The victims become victims because they believe they are socially embedded, needed, "I knew that you'd realise that you need me someday."

This scam/fraud however seems to be more of the 'Western' kind. They told the victims that they could make a load of money. They told them that they were lucky, privileged, special and the victims fell for it. Damn, there goes my cultural difference.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@timtak - Not just Nigerians it's caucasian people too.

Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme

Wall Street + U.S. Banks on American (people) 1st time Mortgage Applicants ( that's why we have a recession )

Hurricane Post Sandy donation scams

All types of scams....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A lot of Japanese people have good savings, or money that came down through the family or from an insurance plan etc. etc. Y20,000,000 is not a huge amount for someone of that age to have, and I only hope that it was a small proportion of their net worth and not most of it.

Many of these moderatly well off aged were fine in their day when it came to managing the household budget and planning house purchases, schooling costs and suchlike, but financially naive in other respects. When you couple this with the fact that elderly people have rapidly declining faculties as well. It's easy and very sad to see how they can get taken in by a kind seeming, smooth talking con artist. This story is the tip of the iceberg, and unfortunately, unlike the story here, a lot of it is entirely legal. That is, many get conned into spending huge amounts on services and products that they simply do not need.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The elderly want to talk to somebody, especially if they are living along. My granmother went through the same thing. By the time my father figured out what was going on she was pretty much broke; had to move in with my parents. I hope this guy gets a long prison sentence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saw something on TV the other night, about another scam that is doing the rounds... The guys that do this keep lists of people that they have scammed, then call back again posing as 'fraud recovery agents', offering to help get their money back.

Talk about kicking people while they are down. It just boggles me how people can have so little empathy. It really is sub-human

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why did this woman have that much money?

By the time you reach her age your parents, in-laws and possibly a number of siblings (they had bigger families in those days) have passed on and left you their estates, if you're in that kind of family. People tend to be more willing to be stupid with money they didn't earn in the first place.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Spending his ill gotten gains at a cabaret club, makes this guys just that little bit more despicable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I saw it on the news yesterday, and WOW....they displayed a lot of cash on the table from the arrest.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It could be that the woman's husband may have past away leaving her an amount of money besides her savings. Whatever, there seems to be endless cases of fraud by these so called sub humans taking advantage of the elderly that we read about over and over here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“A Tokyo fraudster is spending millions of yen in a Sapporo cabaret club,”

Who would have thought a gangster would be into a bit of old-school cabaret? Not good for the tough-guy cred, bro!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good pinch, although it is a pity the elderly don't consult these types of things with their children/relatives in these cases.. Giving even (limited) power of attorney to them in some cases would be advisable do they are not taken advantage of

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is one of those non-violent crimes that I would be ok with very severe punishment for, like life in prison, or death penalty.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

blendoverNov. 20, 2012 - 11:38PM JST

A lot of Japanese people have good savings, or money that came down through the family or from an insurance plan etc. etc. Y20,000,000 is not a huge amount for someone of that age to have, and I only hope that it was a small proportion of their net worth and not most of it.

According to statistics, 80% of elderly own their own houses/apartments, so chances are she's got plenty of money sitting right under her if she actually needs it. If she does own her own place, then 20 million would be enough money for 30 years, and her monthly pensions probably give her twice her average monthly expenses.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

RamzelNov. 20, 2012 - 08:12PM JST

1,000,000JPY per year? Really?

I see people comfortably living on less than that. I live in an expensive area and get about 1.3 million a year in expenses ( I tend to splurge on food a bit), some others I know nearby spend just 990k a year. If you don't live in Hokkaido where utilities are high and same with food prices, you could easily see 700-800k a year.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Before we congratulate the cops... Since when have they been looking for him? Clearly it's been more than 6 mo since the high-profile victim, but to get 3 billion he would have had to scam over a hundred people. Do they actually know all his victims?

What about accomplices? This guy's just the leader, so there have to be a few others.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Dennis BauerNov. 20, 2012 - 04:39PM JST

because previous generation knew how to save money?

Being able to afford saving and knowing how to do it are two different things. People of her age got all the pension increases without the pension taxes to cover it, so it's less "knowing how to save" and more "not knowing what to do with it all". Because of that, many elderly folks fall for crimes like this, they feel that an easy way out of prudent financial management is all they need. If they only had enough to afford a roof, their own food, utilities, and occasional clothes and other goods, they might be more prudent and make it near impossible for crooks like this man to make a living that way.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

originalusernameNov. 20, 2012 - 04:13PM JST

Last time i spoke to an investment planner we worked out that i would need a lot more than 20 mil in a retirement fund in order to survive comfortably

In sapporo you can live very comfortably for 14 years on that much money, and if you don't mind being a bit further from Sapporo station, you can live comfortably for 20 years. If this person put that money into fake bonds, that's because they didn't need the money immediately.

Considering elderly people fall for these scams so easily, maybe the government should think twice before giving them so much more money than they need. Being closer to the need line will help them avoid these scams and drive the scammers out of business before they can even make a single victim, let alone the many dozen or even hundreds these guys got.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

Question is:

Why did this woman have that much money? Certainly a good chunk is from pensions, so these guys have been stealing money from working class stiffs that will never be able to have their own government pensions. They should add a few more counts of fraud just for that.

And before people ask why Sapporo, it's because our caba-cura are far cheaper and have more relaxed rules.

-24 ( +0 / -24 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites