crime

Nova founder's 2-year prison sentence upheld

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© 2012 AFP

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Good news, but two years isn't enough.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What happened to all the foreign teachers that weren't paid? I hope they some compensation.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He took from employees to give to clients, rather than his own pocket, so 2 years is probably adequate. (Though you may argue that he lived high on the hog and wasted money prior to that, but that's not what he was convicted of.)

Good to see a dishonest business person get actual in-a-cell time. Hope others feel forewarned.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What happened to all the foreign teachers that weren't paid?

They, and the Japanese staff are still waiting. The same as GEOS employees. Will COCO Juku be the next English school franchise to fold and ripoff all the foreigners?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The disgraced founder of defunct English language school Nova has had his two-year jail term for embezzlement upheld, a court official in Japan said Thursday.

Perhaps the writer would like to do more research as Nova is back - and so is that damn bunny.

Who did this guy tick off to make his sentence stick? How can this guy be sent to jail yet many others get let off. Two years is a joke considering his crime.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

When I say "Disgraced", you say "The disgraced founder of defunct English language school Nova has had his two-year jail term for embezzlement upheld, a court official in Japan said Thursday." OK? Repeat after me ...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good to see MonkeyBridge getting what he deserves!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He've got away too easy. Too many good hearted Americans became his victims.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

ONLY 2 years or zero is missing?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tmarieNov. 22, 2012 - 01:26PM JST

The disgraced founder of defunct English language school Nova has had his two-year jail term for embezzlement upheld, a court official in Japan said Thursday.

Perhaps the writer would like to do more research as Nova is back - and so is that damn bunny.

You are correct research is key , Not all Nova schools actually closed , some were bought and the teachers retained,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Foreigners with little or no language-teaching skills or experience were able to make a comfortable living teaching in Japan at the height of the 1980s economic boom and beyond"

How many of these foreigners were actually trained/certified as english teachers in there native country, A tiny minority at the best. As one poster commented on a similar article, "English teaching is a billion dollar industry in japan, the party does not go on forever".Speaking a language is one thing, specialization in the language is all together a different story.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

globalwatcher: yes, all those poor good hearted American teachers. No need to feel bad for the Japanese staff or students who lost tonnes of money due to this idiot though...we should all shed a tear for those poor American souls. By the way, not all the foreign teachers were American.

GEOS went the same way as NOVA and as hard as it was for me to jump ship, I did it because I didn't want to be working for free with the stress of being yelled at every day for not making the company enough money. I feel bad for the teachers and staff who stay until the bitter end but I almost feel worst for the students. A couple of friends of mine lost a huge chunk of cash that they had paid for lessons that they would never receive from NOVA.

There really should be more safegaurds in place to prevent stuff like this from happening to anyone again.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

He shafted every employee, needs more jail time, didn't care about anyone buy himself.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wonder if there is any particular English franchise in Japan that is highly regarded by the teachers.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

".Speaking a language is one thing, specialization in the language is all together a different story.

Specialization in the language and being able to teach it in an English conversation school environment effectively is altogether a different story .

6 ( +6 / -0 )

2 years for embezzeling apx, 3 million dollars?! What a crock.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only two years? That whole episode was a pretty miserable time in my life as well as many others. We did eventually get our money, but many people left the country and so it has made getting the cash back more difficult for them. I remember in the final days we were getting faxes almost everyday saying money was coming. Most of the Japanese staff were pretty happy, but the foreigners kept telling them it was just lies. In the end though, it did lead me to getting a better job in a better location.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Don't forget his right hand man that he started Nova with was a foreigner and correct me if I am wrong but I believe he missed out on jail time, and that in itself is highly unusual as in Japan its well know that the actual owners of companies use their managers as scapegoats and usually look after them financially for taking the fall.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have seen Nova around. They are there, but maybe only in name perhaps.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

**"Foreigners with little or no language-teaching skills or experience were able to make a comfortable living teaching in Japan at the height of the 1980s economic boom and beyond"

How many of these foreigners were actually trained/certified as english teachers in there native country, A tiny minority at the best. As one poster commented on a similar article, "English teaching is a billion dollar industry in japan, the party does not go on forever".Speaking a language is one thing, specialization in the language is all together a different story.

You dont have to have a the papers to be a good english Teaching... It helps if you arent a good teacher...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obviously the company's obligations to the employees have precedence over those to its clients under the law.

It would therefore appear that he was basically trying to shaft the foreign teachers and placate the Japanese customers, for whatever reason.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have seen Nova around. They are there, but maybe only in name perhaps.

Just to clarify: NOVA was bought out by the same company that bought out GEOS when they folded, 'G.Communications'. They then went on to close either a GEOS or a NOVA school if there were two in the same town. The students were shuffled to the remaining school and the teachers were shafted. They axed around 200 teachers in Tokyo alone. "Thanks for coming. Now, p-off!" Nice!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

320, 000, 000 yen/(365*2) = 438,356 per day.

Based on this formula someone who steals 10 000yen from a taxi driver's change box should get 33 minutes in jail, and someone stealing a 1,000,000 yen diamond ring should get 2 days, 6 hours and 45 minutes in jail.

... sadly it seems that the more you steal the LESS time prison time you get.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Embezzlement? No va.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ubikwit:

"It would therefore appear that he was basically trying to shaft the foreign teachers and placate the Japanese customers, for whatever reason."

Half right. The missing piece is that he shafted more than just the foreign teachers. There were Japanese employees, too.

Frungy, he didn't pocket that 320 million. He used it to pay off customers to try to keep things afloat. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul. In the end, everyone loses. And now the tax-paying public shoulders the cost of his incarceration. I have every sympathy for the employees and students who lost out, but 2 years incarceration is enough.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have friends who saw his private play-room in the Nova head office building, whereever that was. He had a pleasure room -- bed with mirrors (I think), all kinds of other crazy stuff, hot personal secretary, bath, jacuzzi etc etc, and this was at the office. Never mind home, vehicles, investments.

He was personally embezzling all along, even if that is not what he got "caught" for...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No mention of his bank account in the Canary Islands either. That is where the money is, but he can't touch it until he is out of jail.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many SHAM schools are still in operation.

Foreigners with little or no language-teaching skills or experience were able to make a comfortable living teaching in Japan at the height of the 1980s economic boom and beyond.

Some of these so called " English Teachers are hired by LOOKS alone. Sometimes I work side by side with these idiots.

It's very sad, but hiring somebody who looks pretty is NOT good business practice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what is all this prattle about american teachers, Anders Lunquist was the first one, and he was swedish? what about Kiwi Tony Byrne? Or that Canuckle head Grant Trew so many "victims" but no more than those poor students who got ramrodded into buying hundreds of tickets they could not use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWKaWcvCT_8

2 ( +2 / -0 )

taj Frungy, he didn't pocket that 320 million. He used it to pay off customers to try to keep things afloat. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul. In the end, everyone loses. And now the tax-paying public shoulders the cost of his incarceration. I have every sympathy for the employees and students who lost out, but 2 years incarceration is enough.

So if I steal from my employer and then give the money to a charity I'll get less time? Don't be ridiculous. The amount he stole is staggering. Furthermore it in no way kept things afloat. Keeping the teachers paid and happy might have kept things afloat, investing in more advertising might have kept things afloat, ... a dozen other things might have kept things afloat, but reimbursing customers who had quit and had NO intention of coming back would not keep things afloat. Giving them vouchers that were redeemable at a later date for lessons would have been a much smarter business strategy. So he's an idiot and bad businessman as well as a thief...

.. however, that doesn't change the fact that he's a thief. He took money that wasn't his. What he did with his ill-gotten gains is irrelevant. This is just another in a long history of cases where senior executives are given slaps on the wrist for huge crimes that hurt a lot of people. If he'd been a junior employee who had taken a few thousand yen from petty cash to pay back a customer he probably would have got 5 years for theft.

Finally though this judgement doesn't consider the number of people who were hurt by his actions. Some teachers were in such financial trouble that they couldn't eat, and there's at least one reported suicide. He should have been charged with murder, and the sentence should have been much harsher. ... but he had money and powerful friends, and the courts always go easier on people like that, even when they do horrendous things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

G.Communications did buy out Nova and Geos and at least they honored the students points which remained from the bankrupt Nova. Good on em! They would have run at a loss from that but they took the risk and are now, from what I hear, are improving the school and its curriculum.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Should have been put away for twenty. Ah the good times that were had at NOVA. If that voice room could only talk...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and GABA is the next NOVA

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

mikihouse, based on pure speculation? Gaba is not a public company any more. It is a subsidiary of Nichii Gakkan so there is no way you would know the company's figures. From what I hear, they are doing quite well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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