Police have arrested a 37-year-old man in Chiba Prefecture for illegally receiving pension money on behalf of his dead mother for the past two years.
The man, who has been named as Akio Kato from Sodegaura, has been unemployed for the past two years. Fuji TV reported that he was charged Friday with fraud for allegedly pretending his mother was still alive and claiming her widow's pension.
According to police, Kato's mother died in 2003 at the age of 62, but no pension was paid because his father was still alive. After his father died in 2011, Kato filed papers claiming his mother was alive, but now a widow. Police said he defrauded the national pension system of 1.23 million yen from 2011 until April this year.
Notification of the woman's death was sent from the hospital to the local ward office, but the information was apparently not passed on to the pension department, Fuji reported. A spokesperson for the local government said, "Although the family registration and pension departments are supposed to work together, in this case there was a failure in communication."
Kato was quoted as saying that he only recently found out that his mother was dead and that he wasn't trying to cheat anybody.© Japan Today