Accompanied by her tax accountant, the well-dressed woman was full of confidence last October when she stood in front of investors to present the company’s financial results. The annual net profit exceeded 600 million yen, she boasted, and through her personal connections with banks overseas, "there was a great opportunity" awaiting the investors.
A month later, the asset management company Allied in Osaka had shut down without notice and the staff vanished without a trace. On June 14, all six executives were arrested on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Toshie Sugimoto, former CEO, was arrested in an Internet cafe with only 20,000 yen in her wallet.
The company had promised high dividends through FX asset management and collected 2 billion yen from 280 clients. But these investors ended up losing their savings to Allied’s pyramid investment scam. So far, the police have learned that over 400 million yen was distributed to the executives as compensation while 300 million yen remains unaccounted for. Only 360 million was used in foreign exchange investment.
One elderly client was stunned to hear from his daughter that Sugimoto, the supposed charismatic FX trader, used to be an AV actress until 2006. “I’m sure it’s a different person,” he still insists. The resemblance between the actress in the video image and Sugimoto cannot be denied, but the allegation seems to have come from one resentful investor who had also become a victim of her scam business.
Osaka police department is continuing the investigation as a fraud case.© Japan Today