crime

Man arrested for spending mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds

75 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

75 Comments
Login to comment

Computer fraud? Well it is illegal to gamble outside of Japans borders…shhhh not like anyone does it?

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Government incompetence led to this.

23 ( +34 / -11 )

Like I said, ¥46.3 mill is hardly worth the pickle he is in. I suspect the poor guy has some other issues that clouded his judgment.

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

Like others, I think he still has the money and is hoping to get a year in prison and have the money waiting for him when he comes out.

However, being the enterprising guy he is, he may have immediately realized he would need to return the money. So he may have gambled heavily hoping to double it and come out ahead before he had to pay it back. If that's the case, he may be telling the truth about the gambling - but it should be easy enough to produce a digital record of that.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of computer fraud, police said.

The fraud was in not covering for the bureaucratic incompetence and quietly doing unpaid service and informing them of the mistake

It was a given the legal system would deem this a crime and not giving a crony construction company stimulus funds to build a concrete squid to promote tourism during a pandemic travel ban.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

From the bank documents the news got a hold of, it looks like he made the first money transfer the same day. I was thinking he might have transferred the money overseas, but I don’t feel he’s quite clever enough to have done so so quickly. He’s ruined his life for nothing, but he probably needed help long before this happened to him and he didn’t get it. Kind of tragic all around.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I would have buried it in the mountains somewhere.

If it’s been spent outside Japan then there is no way that the town will ever get the money back.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

This story daily makes me smile, it’s twists and turns by authorities, but his story stays the same. Everyday authorities patching up a fragile wall to cover their total incompetence.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

 was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of computer fraud, police said.

Ok

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

How do they come up with a charge of computer fraud? He was given the money and spent it. Where is the fraud? Once again we see the Japanese legal system scratching to make up charges to cover their own infrastructural idiocy. No doubt the data was stored on floppy disc from a Windows 98 PC as well.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Ok, now arrest the morons in city hall that screwed this all up in the first place.

wait, that might be the whole accounting staff……..

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Average Japanese maker around 20 man per month.

Subtract taxes and you take home around 15 to 16man man,subtract rent around 5man and you have 10man,subtract utility bills and you have around 7man,subtract keitai,wifi and you have around 5man,subtract food and you have zero or negative plus unpaid bills.Basically,most live hand to mouth,that's why they can't leave their parents house and will never ever save money.

Taguchi San,stick to your narrative and stand your ground.After a year or so of eating free food and free room,you'll be out and you can go dig out your haul and off you go to freedom.Gaman shite.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

TokyoJoe

Government incompetence led to this.

And then the guy took the baton, ran to the finish line, and kept running. (Plus, he lost the baton.)

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Sho Taguchi

I see they finally gave out “a name.”

And look how generic it is.

very creative, guys.

At least make up a fancy fake name next time.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

If money is sent to you by mistake, you should be able to keep the money. The people who sent you the money by mistake should go to jail. This dude did nothing wrong.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

arrested for what???

he won the jackpot thanks to the stupid town hall, he has the right to burn its own money.

the guy is arrested but not the mayor?????

the gov is just playing will tax money

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

What about the person who committed the mistake?

Not a word yet

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Japanese reporting on this says he went to the bank with the officials from the town to return money from his account, apparently its quite far away, but he stalled on them once they got there and said would do it "tomorrow". After that, he continued withdrawing and using the money.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Does the guy even own a computer?

Slapped with a charge they slap hackers because someone sent him money

3 ( +7 / -4 )

20yo are idiots in the first place. He should have just used a few thousand k’s and then alerted authorities instead of, allegedly, blowing all of it. Or better yet, he should have just returned all of it. I’m sure the city hall official was fired.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Disillusioned

How do they come up with a charge of computer fraud?

He most likely used a computer to facilitate the transfers, as well as the actual gambling, of course.

He was given the money and spent it. Where is the fraud?

He was given the money inn error, so it was not his to spend. Hence, the fraud.

Once again we see the Japanese legal system scratching to make up charges to cover their own infrastructural idiocy. 

What he did is considered a crime in the US and UK, among others. He would have been arrested long before now, if this happened in those countries. So, it has nothing to do with the Japanese legal system, per se.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

ian

Does the guy even own a computer?

Kinda hard to do internet casino gambling without one. (A smartphone is considered a computer, as well.)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What he did is considered a crime in the US and UK, among others.

‘but not in Japan, so your point is I’m afraid not relevant

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not condoning his actions in any way but HOW does JNews get his bank records and publicly display every transaction since getting the funds? We NEVER see this when J politicians are accused of malfeasance.

Plus, what were those periodic ¥220 charges interspersed amongst the larger withdrawals?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

What if a private citizen had mistakenly wired him the 46.3 mil yen and couldn’t get it back. Would that same person be able to get the police to arrest him on suspicion of computer fraud? More than likely he’d get a few expressions of sympathy and then told to go on his way.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

What he did is considered a crime in the US and UK, among others.

‘but not in Japan, so your point is I’m afraid not relevant

They will find a law to charge him with - that's how it works here in these situations.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

On Taguchi's claim that he lost all the money on gambling, Norihiko Hanada, the mayor of Abu, expressed surprise earlier. "We want to trace the flow of the money in the lawsuit. I want him to return it, it's not too late."

Tracing the money makes sense, if only to confirm that it was completely blown on internet gambling and can therefore not be recollected. Still, if some of the amount remains unaccounted for, it could have been used for buying assets (e.g. car, land, etc) which could be seized and re-sold or they could try to cancel the transaction.

On the charges, I'm no lawyer, but back in Europe, what he did would be definitely be illegal.

First, contrary to what some people on this board are stating, there is generally no legal "finder's keeper" to speak of. And it is especially not up to the finder to decide on this.

"Finder's keeper" may play in certain country when it comes to valuables which obviously have no owners, such as antiques (e.g. somebody's stash of coins minted back 200 years ago). But even in case of antiques, do laws in many countries foresee that the state and museums have priority and offer in exchange a percent of the estimated value in cash (but not the actual item found). Again, you are expected to declare your finding. But again, dealers in antiques may have a duty to notify the authorities if somebody comes with a stash of antique valuables so, you've been warned...

If you find something (e.g. a sum of money or a wallet with money in it), you are "expected" to "do the right thing", bring it to the police. Generally, law foresees that you will get a percentage of it should the owner come out or the whole of if should the owner not come out. Again, you are expected to declare your finding.

Of course, if nobody or no cameras are around to see you, nothing prevents you to take the money or take the money out of the wallet and throw the (now empty) wallet away.

The problem here being that, of course, the administration knows who got the stash and, of course, are going to ask for it to be returned. Either that dimwit was too stupid for words, or he may have wanted to "use the money to make more money" before returning it. But, I mean, gambling?? What a grade A moron!

The bank / administration did a genuine "mistake" (albeit a stupid one!), while the idiot, while knowing that it was a mistake, took the money and ran. Now, everything will depend on what the law states. It would be "theft", "fraud", "embezzlement", "abuse of public funds" or whatever...

Now the gambling-"defense" is interesting as, well, gambling is illegal in Japan. of course, nobody can prevent people from doing that in practice, but if the accused actually confesses to have misused the banking system to transfer ill-gained money to proceed to an illegal activity (i.e. gambling), me thinks that he has handed the prosecution his own rear on a silver plate. He should have gone with a "somebody knocked me over the head and the money was gone" or the ever-classic "I was drunk and don't recall" defense instead.

Anyway, a moron, a real one. He deserves what's coming his way and it ain't gonna be pretty...

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Kinda hard to do internet casino gambling without one. (A smartphone is considered a computer, as well.)

So is a calculator. Did he use that?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

this is a very strange story

How is it possable that the money transfer was not checked ??

How is it possable that the Bank didnt see this problem ..

I worked with banks in japan and other countries and these kind of transfers are alway double checked how is it possable that this mistake was made .. and that person needs to be punched not the person that got the money !!

Is it true that a test floppy was used and signed by the mayor??

If the money was used online it is easy to check if he realy used the money

It sounds unbelievebale that he loss it all ...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I worked with banks in japan and other countries and these kind of transfers are alway double checked how is it possable that this mistake was made 

The bank was given instruction to "transfer 46.3 million yen to the ff acct/s" I assume.

instruction should be to transfer 100,000 yen to the ff accts.

Agree though failure on the part of the banks also

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So let the bureaucrat who caused the mistake pay it back.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Is it true that a test floppy was used and signed by the mayor??

Seems many govt offices still use old computers and floppies.

When I was at university a friend maintaining the network said there were still very old machines being used by old faculty, seems they're too old to upgrade to newer software and hardware

0 ( +3 / -3 )

i like to see how story is picked up by media from middle.

never saw person who actually did tt to that guy,no face,no interview,never heard about how will be punished and how will be persecuted.same about that persons boss.

its very laughable for outsider to hear that data are stored at some kind of floppy disc and they still run WIN98 there.very ancient hardware at least in 2022 in one of most advanced country where hanko fax and WIN98 are ...kings..

no doubt that guy was not so smart to waset all of money and broke his future in this country but why no one cares about reasons why this happened,who actually stands behind all of that and who in fact must be held responsible?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Little Kim of North Korea got all his money since almost all these gambling sites are owned by NK.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Henri

@Ian

I worked in banks for nearly 2 decades (including anti-money laundering!), it is clear that the bank own processes failed here. Things may have been made more complicated to them because of a the floppy (which I understood may have given the impression of a second batch of transaction or a second transaction), but still the bank effed up. No doubt on that. (The fact that Japan finance laws still allow for use of floppies or outdated technology is another problem in itself though and would need fixing asap!)

Now, this whole joke of a story also brings up a lot of questions about how the guy moved the money out of his account or possibly withdraw it to then upload it again to another bank and account before then proceeding to (allegedly) put it into an account with an online casino. It seems that the anti-money laundering processes of his initial bank (on which he received the money) and the ones of a possible second bank on which he may have uploaded the money again did completely fail to do their due dilligence on the guy, the origin of the money and what he intended to do with it...

Some people in another article pointed to a failure of MyNumber, I would disagree on that as initially MyNumber (or its predecessor: Jumin Kihonbango or Juki) were never designed with combatting money-laundering in mind in the first place. (Still, MyNumber remains pretty much useless, hence a pointless white elephant, but that's another topic in itself...)

The real problem here, being that there are standards around minimum procedures and safeguards for banks to implement to prevent illegal transactions and/or involving ill-gotten gains and/or to proceed to illegal operations, and Japan is already known in the finance world to be vastly behind the times on this...

Anyway, do not expect the Japanese banking system to stand trial here. At least not this time...For this to happen, a much worse eff-up, involving much much more money, a much bigger (and more known) bank and a possible much much bigger fine (most likely to be handed down by a foreign finance watchdog organization) is needed for that. But, yes, one day this will happen and it ain't gonna be pretty either...

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Thanks for the post @blue, very informative, always appreciate when people post about own fields of expertise

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If it was me, I would of either: one return it immediately and get the legal 10% finders fee, or, two, send a letter to some obscure city office official, then after one month if not replied, claim the 100% finders fee. The guy is a loser, at gambling and at getting a nice payout.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I see they finally gave out “a name.”

It's been out there for a week or so already. Helps to read mainline news in Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Just goes to show he isnt the brightest light in the galaxy!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hey, that was MY tax money there!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Majority of Japanese people retires with a lot less than that money and that's after laboring forever and not seeing the sun for 40+ years.

If he has the money stashed anywhere, he can wait in jail and still be richer than most Japanese when he gets out.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Japanese law enforcers have a reputation for taking it out on innocents whenever someone important loses a lot of money, as seen in the Ghosn case. They couldn't capture Carlo Ghosn so they capture every Caucasian who's related to him instead, threw them in jail and punished them excessively.

Man, talk about incompetence. They just get so bitter, they exploit the law to their own convenience.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If he did spend that money in online casinos for real, he also deserves an idiot of the year award.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Assuming he actually blew it all as he claims …. He had to have A physical way and the know how how to launder. And money laundering is very difficult in Japan. It’s very difficult to even do legal wire transfers from Japan to any other country. So I’m calling bull…. According to news reports, he was withdrawing 4-600k daily in cash . There aren’t enough days to equal 46mil ¥. And he then would have had the ability to launder it. Not remotely possible. And maybe I’m alone in this thinking…. But while the city and/or bank made the initial mistake, what he did has to a crime…. If not , we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these mistakes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

…. If not , we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these mistakes.

If the one/s who made the mistake are not accountable/made accountable then we'll be seeing more, probably deliberately

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I receive 46.3 million yen...? I'd instantly question it and prevent any temptations that could lead into legal complications. Have the system take responsibility for placing me in such dire situation and have all parties involve suspended without pay and replace with more competent personnel to avoid future incidents with any member of the society.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Finagle’s law at work. Computers make this possible. One “oops” moment with a button, and it’s “uh oh!”

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this little town in the middle of nowhere giving out all this money and my fairly large and rich Nagoya giving out nothing at all...why why!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

First of all, he was definitely not "arrested". In Japan, less than 3% of all persons charged with a crime are actually "arrested" - they must pose a threat to others or there must be sufficient evidence that they disappear.

Second, the DA will surely not press charges for "computer fraud". He will probably try to press charges for 横領罪(embezzlement) - but even then the court needs to prove that he knowingly withheld that money.

If he is not the stupidest person and has a somewhat decent lawyer, he will get out of it scot-free.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he is not the stupidest person and has a somewhat decent lawyer, he will get out of it scot-free.

He has(had?) money to hire one and if he's not stupid he probably used the first withdrawal/s to retain one and consult before making the decision to fully commit to keep the gift from the gods

First of all, he was definitely not "arrested". In Japan, less than 3% of all persons charged with a crime are actually "arrested" - they must pose a threat to others or there must be sufficient evidence that they disappear.

Interesting

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On April 6, after procedures to transfer 100,000 yen in COVID-19 relief money to each of the 463 low-income households in Abu had been completed, a town official mistakenly submitted to a financial institution a single transfer request of 46.3 million yen to Taguchi, whose name was at the top of the list.

I seem to have read differing accounts of who made the final decision to deposit the monies into a single account and it seemed more likely that it was the BANK which made the error. AND the bank should be responsible for paying back the monies and doing what THEY can to recover from this lad. In the meantime, have the people who NEED the money received ANYTHING?

An interesting follow up, if JT supports investigative journalism, would be to inquire as to what has happened to the bank employee who chose to authorize the payment. If they have been disciplined or fired, that would be tacit proof that the BANK KNEW who was responsible, they were, but blamed it on the official. This would be an even greater wrong than the lad is accused of doing.

In any case, as someone who watches how 'business' is done in America (and, I suspect, Japan), I hope he has squirreled the money away somewhere in an untraceable hole, and no record of the gambling other than that he used the sites available. There is 'law', there is 'morality', and then there is 'business', and THIS is just business. Good luck, fella...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Run Sho, run!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

More interesting would be charges against the people responsible for the criminal negligence in the way the taxpayer's money is treated. No controls, not responsibility, one single mistake and millions are lost.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

William Bjornson

In the meantime, have the people who NEED the money received ANYTHING?

Yup. They sent out a second batch of yen to all of the municipality's residents, once they discovered the error.

(Including Mr. Taguchi, which is just wow.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good to see Japan defending the little guy against the authorities again..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Can he remain totally silent for 23 days. (And beyond)? A prosecutor will stop at nothing to get a confession of intent. Well, the prosecutor now has him hostage.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He's being arrested on what grounds? It's not his fault the government cronies made a mistake. Are the ones responsible for the wrong transfer being fired and arrested too?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Sometimes when such errors are made in my native country, people give the money to charity. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the Glen.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

William BjornsonToday  02:46 pm JST

On April 6, after procedures to transfer 100,000 yen in COVID-19 relief money to each of the 463 low-income households in Abu had been completed, a town official mistakenly submitted to a financial institution a single transfer request of 46.3 million yen to Taguchi, whose name was at the top of the list.

I seem to have read differing accounts of who made the final decision to deposit the monies into a single account and it seemed more likely that it was the BANK which made the error. AND the bank should be responsible for paying back the monies and doing what THEY can to recover from this lad.

This is also my understanding of what happened, the bank has been strangely silent thus far.

Whatever, the man is guilty of stealing by finding and should be held to account for the return of the stolen money for the rest of his natural. I don't believe the gambling story for one minute.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not the mayor not the man bt the bank employee should pay as mayor had the list of accounts sent accordingly why was the bank employee so so so lazy to put all the money in one account only as it was known that much amount wasn’t meant for one person so mayor gets blamed the man bcoms a criminal while the bank employee bcoms innocent n incompetent n a ticking time nuclear bomb ready to explode many times over n over n over well this is how Japan is going back to dark ages

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

purple_depressed_bacon

He's being arrested on what grounds? It's not his fault the government cronies made a mistake. Are the ones responsible for the wrong transfer being fired and arrested too?

Did you even check the news? is all over everywhere. When the deposit was made the town official went to his home the day to notice about the mistake. He seem to be cooperative at first to return money but change his mind the day that he need time or some other excuse after that no news from him even his Mom ask him to return it. Yes of course! he will get arrested and fired.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Am reading the comments am just baffle how much people blaming bank or town official without checking more details on that matter. People do make mistake they went straight to his home to ask money back but the guy didn't cooperate.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The government did the mistake, and still not apologising for trashing our hard-earned tax money.

The official should be on the media explaining his mistake, not that young men.

Cant trust my taxes to these morons.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The government lost 46.5M yen and still going to lose some more by going after this guy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The government lost 46.5M yen and still going to lose some more by going after this guy.

They have to try. Only way this will have a chance of being swept under the rug is if they recover the money, maybe even just a majority of it.

Else whoever signed that bank instruction will have to be held fully accountable.

Probably a very senior official about to retire .

It could be also be because of the mayor , who expectedly do not want the political repercussions of losing people's money

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If there is one thing Japanese are not very good at, it is accepting responsibility. This poor little guy who has been arrested (Heaven help him) has to be the fall guy. So a charge of computer fraud is trumped up. He never asked for ¥46.3 million to be put into his account. It is his personal a/c so surely he can do what he wants with it. (Computer or no computer).

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I mean he gets no sympathy for me since he was such a moron to gamble it away, instantly no less.

These charges against him are nonsense, even if some kind of reprimand is needed, but the court of public opinion has already said "he deserves it" completely forgetting there is blame for the people who caused the situation as well.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Is there any evidence that he gambled it? Quaint Japanese tactic - demonize a person by public opinion.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

A large part of the Japanese "legal" system is predicated on the accused's intent, and self-reflection (反省 hansei). The length of sentences in court cases can vary wildly depending on whether or not the accused expresses regret for what they did.

Can't know for sure, but from what I read this guy gives off vibes of "sorry, not sorry" in his actions. He acknowledged what he did was wrong, and it seems initially he felt remorse about it, but none of his actions really show or reflect that.

That sort of thing will have the Japanese (and many other countries) legal systems throwing the book at him for anything even remotely possible... such as 'Computer Fraud'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A 22 days detention without lawyer for a forced confession will give you just that: a forced confession, not a self-reflection(hansei).

Leave the guy alone, and investigate the bank and the city officials.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"Taguchi previously said he was "sorry for using the money" and intended to repay it, the person said. But his lawyer said at a press conference Monday that he was unlikely to be able to pay it back."

I do not think his lawyer should be saying that. The role of his lawyer is to defend him and to make sure he gets a just/fair trial.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even tho online gambling is illegal in Japan the investigating authorities cant obtain the cooperation of the foreign server administrators to confirm he actually did gambling.

No doubt forcing a confession in the classic Japanese justice system .

Be interesting to see how this gets resolved.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes thats correct !

He's been arrested for spending money that they cant prove he spent.

He can't prove he spent it either.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There are some misinformed comments here. This is not a box of cash accidentally left on someone's front door. He does not "own" his bank account - if any money was accidentally deposited there and he performed a transaction to move that money elsewhere, he committed a financial crime.

I do not understand why people think he has done nothing wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So the guy maybe spent the money and may face jail time. Humphhh.

How many politicians around the world waste taxpayers’ money yet remain out of jail?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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