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Man who mistakenly received entire town’s COVID-19 relief money vanishes

118 Comments
By SoraNews24

Last month we reported on the curious case of one man receiving 46.3 million yen in 100,000-yen COVID-19 relief payments intended for 463 households in the town of Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture. At the time, the mayor apologized for the clerical error that led to the mistake and was pursuing ways to get the money back, but quite a lot has happened since then.

First, details about how the error occurred have come to light. The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers. Before you go scoffing at them for using such storage tech, that part actually went off without a hitch.

The problem was that in tandem with the floppy disk, the town’s transfer order was also sent to the bank online. It was there that the man in question’s account was at the top of the list, but was apparently formatted in such an erroneous way that the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.

When the man noticed the windfall in his account on April 8, he seemed to have had one of those angel-devil-shoulder moments and the devil quickly won. Bit by bit he began moving amounts of about 600,000 yen every day for about two weeks to avoid detection. Meanwhile, the town realized what they had done and began looking for the money. When they found out where it went, they immediately tried to get in touch with the man but had a hard time.

After they finally caught up with him on 21 April, the man informed them that the money was gone from his account and that “It cannot be undone any more. I will not run. I will pay for my crime.”

This left officials in an awkward position legally, since they technically gave him the money through an error and it wasn’t exactly stealing in the crystal-clear sense of the crime. They consulted lawyers and law enforcement, and on May 12 finally took action by filing a lawsuit against the man, demanding 51.16 million yen made up of the amount he took plus legal fees.

There was just one problem… He was already long gone.

In the time it took the town to take legal action against the man, he cleaned out his bank account, quit his job, abandoned his home, and went on the lam. It turned out he wasn’t living there long anyway, having only moved to Abu in October of 2020 through their Vacant House Bank program. These types of programs help owners of vacant homes in rural areas rent them out, while also attracting younger people to repopulate these areas through tax breaks.

▼ A news report showing the man’s house

Reporters spoke to the owner of the home who described the 24-year-old man as “a good boy, young and handsome.” The landlord also said that he had received rent for the month of May, but is unsure if it will continue after that.

Needless to say, a real circus is ballooning from this clerical error and readers of the news are both amazed and ashamed by what has transpired so far.

“He’s very slippery.”

“This is a sad story.”

“The officials gave him enough time to make his escape. That’s for sure.”

“If he was in his 70s I could understand making a run for it. But at 24, that money isn’t going to last.”

“There’s something very wrong with the system if this can happen.”

“When that money runs out, he’s still going to be a fugitive.”

“There are so many cameras out there these days, I don’t think he can get away with it.”

It does seem like the odds are very much stacked against this person. If the police can track individuals in a crowd of thousands using surveillance cameras, he would probably have to adopt a survivalist lifestyle in the wilderness to stay off their radar, which would ironically make all that money rather useless.

On the other hand, he still isn’t technically being charged with a crime, so maybe the police won’t go looking for him. According to a lawyer interviewed by Nikkan Gendai, the lawsuit will go forward in his absence and is pretty much guaranteed to go in the town’s favor. However, after 10 years the order to pay damages will become invalid, and essentially he will have gotten away with it if things remain the way they are.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, KRY, FNN Prime Online, Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Gendai, Hachima Kiko, Itai News

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

118 Comments
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He will be found.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

46 million JPY sounds like a lot, but it will be gone within a year, I guess, and then he's going to have to work like the rest of us.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

I wish the article would state the grounds on which the law suit was made. He doesn't seem to have broken any criminal laws. They gave him the money.

I see a movie in the making.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

Adding a 4,860,000JPY on top in legal fees probably pushed him over the edge. either way this was a mistake and it was the chance of a life time for a 24 years old, what he did was not smart at all and so what the city and the bank did too.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I admire his guts to risk his future for such a small amount. Wait till his face is plaster all over the nation. He won't able to hide very long.

One thing is for sure. We won't ever see that cash back again. He will either spend it or give it to the people closes to him. Even if he is caught, he will never cough it up. Thinking he could still enjoy it after a few months in prison. The authorities can't really do much except that.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

This is hilarious.

12 ( +25 / -13 )

This left officials in an awkward position legally, since they technically gave him the money through an error and it wasn’t exactly stealing in the crystal-clear sense of the crime.

Finders keepers.

It would be better to investigate the many rentiers and business owners who pocketed stimulus cash throughout the various states of emergency while restructuring, firing most staff and using the perod to recapitalize their businesses.

Leave it to the Japanese authorities to target the small change.

9 ( +22 / -13 )

The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers. Before you go scoffing at them for using such storage tech, that part actually went off without a hitch.

Yes I will scoff at this because of the following and I cannot understand why the reporter didn't figure it out!

The problem was that in tandem with the floppy disk, the town’s transfer order was also sent to the bank online

the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.

So the problem is the floppy disk and the fact the bank employees are living in the technological past that when the more modern part is brought up, they have no idea how it works and mess it up.

But I have a problem with the "official" version here.

If the

bank mistook it for a sort of proxy

then isn't that the bank's error and the bank is responsible to return the funds?

If I give my bank the correct information and they put in the incorrect information, it is their responsibility.

But I suspect that the online information was also incorrect and the bank was incorrect both at the same time, which leads me to believe neither the city nor the bank understand modern technology.

9 ( +22 / -13 )

His name, picture and address:

https://tokyophotogenicteam.com/taguchi-shou/

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This story starts off with a floppy disk and goes downhill from there. Can't make this up, haha! Run Foresst, run!

8 ( +16 / -8 )

It wasn’t the guy’s fault that the money had been deposited into his bank account by mistake. But it was clear to him that he was not entitled to the lump sum. He had an obligation to return the money to its rightful owners but instead he made off with it. This constitutes theft or fraud by forbearance. The guy is a criminal.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

I agree the bank is also complicit in this and should make restitution. But this dude knew what he was doing was wrong. Otherwise he would have taken the whole amount out at one time. But he has careful to take small amounts not to attract attention. Just give the money back, no fees or penalties and let bygones be bygones.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Like I said before, there is a hell of a lot more to this story, and I will bet there is even more being kept from the public to keep the embarrassment level for the town officials, down to a minimum!

How in the hell did the town rack up ¥4,860,000 in "legal" fees in such a short time?

9 ( +15 / -6 )

the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.

So why didn't they do that? The man took more than 2 weeks to transfer the money.

Very irresponsible of the govt staff who handled the transfer, didn't check the transaction/s to make sure every recipient received the money.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Wait, I always read how people are so honest in this country and these sort of things only happen in the West and everything lost gets returned, blah blah blah. Guess not. It's OK to have a good laugh because he's a Nihonjin, but had this guy been of a different ethnicity, you know it would be a whole different story.

4 ( +20 / -16 )

But I suspect that the online information was also incorrect and the bank was incorrect both at the same time, which leads me to believe neither the city nor the bank understand modern technology.

Which would also mean that the bank is responsible, as they can not, by law, transfer money into accounts unless the information matches exactly. I know, a local bank did it to me, and that is the reason they gave me for it!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Thinking he could still enjoy it after a few months in prison.

Reread the end of the article. He wont go to prison as he has not been charged with any crime, and the police may not even get involved with searching for him either, as no crime was committed, "technically" or otherwise.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I read through the whole article and am still coming to terms with the data of all who were entitled was stored on a floppy disc. A floppy disc? Is it 2022 or 1992?

take the money abs run fella! They gave it to you. He should be in the Maldives by now.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

If this happened in the US. The guy would be held criminally responsible. There is no "finders keepers" when it comes to funds mistakenly deposited into someone's bank account.

I find it hard to believe that Japan, with its ridiculously long list of rules and regulations for even the most trivial thing, has no law against knowingly absconding with such funds.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

He’ll probably spend half on bar girls and alcohol, the other half he’ll just waste.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

That he was going to scarper was rather predictable, though apparently not to the Japanese authorities!

Having no knowledge of Japanese law I can not comment whether this is a criminal act but in the UK it would be and I suspect in most jurisdictions.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

the other half he’ll just waste.

That's a great perspective! =)

He’ll probably spend half on bar girls and alcohol,

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Most people love to get money, but they hate to give it back.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“There’s something very wrong with the system if this can happen.”

Indeed.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So how much does it cost to buy a new identity from the Yaks?

@Lindsay. The 20thC floppy disk was fine. The 21stC online payment was bodged.

If they'd faxed it, it would have been fine. Impossible to miss the extra entries then.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers. 

Don't scoff this is of the type that self destructs after info was read

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Hmmm, still no name, no pic, and no video.

Story still seems very fake, with creating a fictitious scapegoat while the people in charge of the money are the ones who actually stole it.

No one is falling for it.

BUT, if it were in some wild way an actual true story, this cannot be…..

The town put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers.

in 2022………

The problem was that in tandem with the floppy disk, the town’s transfer order was also sent to the bank online.

So that means, the floppy disk was meaningless, since it was done online anyway…….

> was apparently formatted in such an erroneous way that the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.

yes, because a proxy has one man’s name and address on it, not business or company details……..

> Bit by bit he began moving amounts of about 600,000 yen every day for about two weeks to avoid detection. 

because normal people and accounts move that much money on a daily basis, regularly……..I guess “it worked” for the guy tho.

Meanwhile, the town realized what they had done and began looking for the money.

2 weeks…….2 weeks. 14 days. 12 business days in Japan. 10 for a bank. 2 weeks…..

> When they found out where it went, they immediately tried to get in touch with the man but had a hard time.

Surprise surprise…..

Whether this “guy” is real……he’s not, or whether this “bank/government” is that ignorant…….most likely.

This has definitely been an amusing little adventure they have created. I can’t wait to see how it concludes.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

He's probably already in Thailand or the Philippines if he was smart. ¥46mil can last there.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If it were me I would probably pay someone to transfer the money to an offshore account and use it to buy stocks overseas and turn myself into the police. Japan is an Island so it would be very difficult to escape. I would go to jail and do my time and beg for leniency and lie that I used the money to pay for Luna crypto currency and that it crashed, hence why I lost all the money.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hiro

He doesn't have the cash he moved it offshore.

Its certainly enough amount if invested wisely to support him

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The landlord described the suspect as "handsome". After seeing a picture of the suspect's face, I have to say I strongly disagree.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

pay for Luna crypto currency and that it crashed

But only the ill-informed think crypto currency will crash right? He will become even richer investing it all in crypto.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is entertaining how the article trys to save face and not make them look completely incompetent by using pathetic exuses.

And lets not forget they actually sent the man another payment after they realized their mistake.

How could anyone not scoff at this humorous story and floppy exuses !

2 ( +9 / -7 )

This story just keeps getting better, or worse if you cringe at others' failings. The recipient was an outsider who was renting a cheap empty home through a relocation scheme. Not someone with any local links or family ties. It's stating the obvious but this cranks up the flight risk at least tenfold. The mistake happened on April 8th but they gave him a month to withdraw the money and get around all the daily limits on that. I think it is dishonest to not return the money, there is so much incompetence on display here. The local government and local bank deserve as much punishment as the man.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I really hope there's more to the story, making payments to the wrong account in this fashion is out right ridiculous. Simply put, it cannot possibly be the result of one bumbling idiot's mistake, there should be so many checks set up in the system making it simply impossible.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

put all of their account information on a floppy disk

Oh Japan...

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Keep in mind probably tens to a hundred civil servants in that city making from 5 to 10 million yen per year to do a simple job, screwed this up.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Pure comedy.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Certainly, in the U.K. this would fall under the Theft Act 1968 and be regarded as retaining wrongful credit. It absolutely is theft!

Go straight to gaol. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Tax evasion?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

put all of their account information on a floppy disk

Oh Japan...

Security by obscurity.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

AntiquesavingToday  07:23 am JST

*The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers. Before you go scoffing at them for using such storage tech, *that part actually went off without a hitch.

Yes I will scoff at this because of the following and I cannot understand why the reporter didn't figure it out!

*The problem was that in tandem with the floppy disk, the town’s transfer order was also sent to the* bank online

*the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.*

So the problem is the floppy disk and the fact the bank employees are living in the technological past that when the more modern part is brought up, they have no idea how it works and mess it up.

Seems the fact that the transfer information on a floppy had nothing to do with the subsequent mistake made by the bank who mistakenly transferred all the money to the first recipient on the list. Whether that list was sent on a floppy or electronically is irrelevant, it seems the bank screwed up royally.

From the article:

The problem was that in tandem with the floppy disk, the town’s transfer order was also sent to the bank online. It was there that the man in question’s account was at the top of the list, but was apparently formatted in such an erroneous way that the bank mistook it for a sort of proxy that all the money should go to first and then be filtered into the proper accounts.

You missed this "It was there that the man in question’s account was at the top of the list, but was apparently formatted in such an erroneous way that" from your quote and this indicates that the formatting issue leading to the bank's error was on the online order and not the floppy disk.

B

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a riot. Now if this kid can stay hidden for, what is it 10 years? They money can legally become his. At his age a ten year stint overseas might be a good thing.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers.

Floppy disk?....In 2022?

ROFL , You can,t be serious...........then again when on ethinks about it , we,ve all seen plenty of similar examples in this "advanced country".

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

He’ll probably spend half on bar girls and alcohol, the other half he’ll just waste.

What else should he do with it? Save it for a rainy day?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"It does seem like the odds are very much stacked against this person."

Yes, and no. If it's the same system tracking him that gave him the money, I'd say the odds are very much in his favor. The police will compile their info on a floppy and send it to other police, who will ask where he is and send it to others (all saying it's not up to them and giving it to someone else), and all asking the City Hall, which will transfer queries to others, etc.

And hey, he's committed no crime! This is 100% the local government's fault. Maybe it's time to change the system, not go after the results.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

I will bet there is even more being kept from the public to keep the embarrassment level for the town officials, down to a minimum! How in the hell did the town rack up ¥4,860,000 in "legal" fees in such a short time?"

Must be the town mayor's wife second cousin - the lawyer...he charged them "mates rates " fees, lol.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Lived in inaka back in the nineties and got a foreign bank transfer into Japan.

To receive the money I had to go to the bank and verify my details and the ‘reason’ for receiving the money.

It’s a pity that nobody checked and verified the payment in this case.

They might have done so if the chap had had a foreign name…

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Keep in mind probably tens to a hundred civil servants in that city making from 5 to 10 million yen per year to do a simple job, screwed this up.

If its typical inaka, the local people will support this kind of employment, because it will be their sons and daughters. The local government will get a big chunk of its income in disporportionate grants from the prefecture and central government, so its the kuni/ken magic money tree that pays, not taxes from local people's pockets.

An an aside, a town with 3000 people is likely to have at least 8 councillors who will be part time and on 200,000 or so a month. It will also have a mayor and deputy mayor on much more. My town has 8000 people but 12 councillors, plus the other two. By constrast, Osaka City has 83 councillors for 2.6 million people.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The real problem is that an administrative mistake + exorbitant legal fee are driving a young man into a life of crime. The guy probably thought "Oh, how lucky".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

guy is in Japan.

no chance may go abroad.

one day he will be catched and arrested.

just matter of time.

he have no room to dissapear.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

As pointed out by a poster above this may very well be a ruse fabricated by the people in charge of sending the funds ... anyone who's dealt with people in city hall knows that level of error both regarding the money and failing to catch up the recipient in a more timely manner is highly unlikely.

If someone is "apprenhended" he'll likely be let off lightly eventually.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

GBR48

Today 08:51 am JST

So how much does it cost to buy a new identity from the Yaks?

@Lindsay. The 20thC floppy disk was fine. The 21stC online payment was bodged.

If they'd faxed it, it would have been fine. Impossible to miss the extra entries then.

If they live full time in the 21st century then this wouldn't have happened because they would have followed the correct procedures in online banking best practice, which they were clearly not doing because even when I was working mainframe compliance/security way back in the very early 2000s floppy disks were no longer used/acceptable and a security risk not to mention unreliable.

Seriously are there any other developed countries still using floppy disk?

The answer is no!

And as far as I can figure out banks planned on ending floppy disks in 2021 but the Japanese government including the bank or Japan and many local governmens refused as they want a more "Secure" storage method than proposed by the banks so now the plan is 2026 to end floppy disk use.

for the Bank of Japan and government departments, floppy disks are not eliminated. Even if banks charge US$500 a month, the staff of Japanese government departments must use floppy disks to store key information for reliability and safety.

Which is crazy seeing of all the available technology the floppy disk is probably the most unreliable most prone to data loss a degradation!

Heck a read/write cd or dvd is more reliable.

The mind boggles when it comes to the Japanese government and banks.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Hold up, what company still makes and produces floppy disks?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

8TToday  10:07 am JST

"He’ll probably spend half on bar girls and alcohol, the other half he’ll just waste.2

What else should he do with it? Save it for a rainy day?

@Random

Bit of George Best-ing is more than likely on the cards.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Another scary thing is that the ""bank"" likely has a computer/drive that uses floppy disks, LOL, & myself being an admitted digital dinosaur am just shaking my head.

Excuse me a second while I check my pcmcia card, seems to be acting up!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The Avenger Today 07:33 am JST: "His name, picture and address:"

Thank you, The Avenger! I'm certain that I may have seen this 'gentleman' at ABC Pachinko...!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Another scary thing is that the ""bank"" likely has a computer/drive that uses floppy disks, LOL

But of course

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ok to take a little pressure off the banks.

I did some searching.

It seems the banks wanted to ends floppy disk use by this year.

It is the bank of Japan and many local governments that have refused.

Tokyo prefecture government was ending the use by December 2021 but again bank of Japan refuses so Tokyo must still retain some use of floppy disks.

Now the banks hope to end the use by 2026 but again that depends on the bank of Japan and local governments, if they refuse then it drags on.

Banks are charging these local governments and the bank of Japan ¥50,000 yen surcharge a month to retain floppy disk use by the banks.

So every month that town is paying the Bank at least ¥50,000 just to keep using floppy disks, the bank is fine to end the use but the government won't.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A competent forensic accountant will follow the money, the financial records and transactions, tracing assets and movements of capital. Either by ATM or bank to bank transfers.

I envisage the authorities will acquire court orders to fan out the search electronic parameters and modeling.

First priority will be recovering the money.

Greed, that was this fools downfall.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

GWToday  10:37 am JST

Another scary thing is that the ""bank"" likely has a computer/drive that uses floppy disks

The use of cassette tapes wouldn't have completely surprised me, still at least we're safe from Russian hackers, who've probably been alerted to the possibility of large handouts from Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is the loss of face for the town officials, the embarrassment, the entire town’s COVID-19 relief funding missing handed over to a 24-year-old man who subsequently took it to be his.

He has a foot print from birth, employment history, family. schooling. health records.

No stone will be left unturned, his life and family will be dissected, details will be leaked to the media.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This entire case reads like a comedy. Honestly, I don't blame the man for absconding with the cash. It wasn't his fault. And as per usual, Japanese bureaucracy dragged its feet long enough for the man to make his getaway. Maybe this will finally be the lesson for the Japanese government and officials that sitting around umm-ing and erm-ing and thinking and considering and planning does absolutely nothing.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The poor guy was living a normal life until all this happened. There's a chance this guy could have been addicted or coerced into withdrawing the money. It's all the fault of the people who transferred the money.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Did I miss something? A lot of printed money for decades and gone forever into the pocket of someone without use and not leading to a reinforced and prospering economy? That’s reminding me of something much bigger. lol But wait, here it’s only a poor guy, so suddenly everyone is trying to hunt him down for that laughable lump sum, while the other few ones with the much bigger accounts still can enjoy their massive amounts given for nothing. That is really all measured with quite different scales, isn’t it?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This can only happen in Japan.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

He's waiting for bitcoin to drop to 10k so he can buy it, wait for the pop, then pay back the money for free. lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They are gonna rake this guy over the coals when, I'd guess, at least 75% of covid relief funds ended up in the bank accounts of people that didn't need it. The giant concrete squid is a perfect example. Some politician's cousin's concrete business cleaned up there.

He's 24, living in a rural area, he likely would never see that amount of cash at one time in his account EVER. They are absolutely trying to ruin his life by adding on those legal fees, that alone would take years to pay off. Not saying what he did was right, but I understand.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

In the time it took the town to take legal action against the man, he cleaned out his bank account, quit his job, abandoned his home, and went on the lam. 

So, the plan is basically to run around with a briefcase heavy with 46 Mio JPY (plus whatever amount he owned before that). He won't go very far.

To transfer the money "discreetly", he would first need to get it back into the banking system (not impossible, but difficult), transferring is again not impossible but difficult--especially transferring without leaving a trace.

We won't pass airport security with a briefcase full of cash and most likely will not be able to do so with a ferry either, so no trip abroad on the menu. He's basically trapped in Japan using cars, taxis, buses, subways, trains or shinkansen where he will stick out as the paranoid-looking-guy-who-never-lets-go-of-his-briefcase.

Even if he makes it into the weeks / months / years, when you're on the lam, you'll always be looking over your shoulder. Always! Adding that 46 Mio will never be enough to get him through a life and until an average lifespan grave, what's the whole point...? Not mentioning that he may attract attention of the "wrong kind" (if you get my drift).

Verdict: an opportunistic idiot who handled himself a LOT of problems...Well, happens pretty often when you're stupid...

That idiot had better to go to the nearest Koban, do a dogeza, hand over the cash and hope for leniency (which he may actually get, as all parties involved (city and bank) effed it up so spectacularly on all accounts, hence would love to extinguish that dumpster fire asap!)

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

They want to charge him 5 million yen for legal fees!!!! No wander he is gone and I hope he stays gone! Good luck to him!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I'm actually rooting for the guy. Millions of yen are wasted every year in this country on things like food that are often just thrown away, on "studies", masks, or projects that get cancelled or that benefit no one. So its nice to see someone actually get a pile of cash by accident and that he pocket the money, because thats what corrupt politicians do every day. I doubt he will get far, but if he were smart he should leave Japan or at least hide out for a year and learn a foreign language. Be tough trying to live in a foreign country without any language skills. He will have to take a boat to Korea or Russia. Will cost him a little. Also, 46 million yen is around $357k US. He won't spend that in a year like others have posted.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

on May 12 finally took action by filing a lawsuit against the man, demanding 51.16 million yen made up of the amount he took plus legal fees.

Wait a minute....

51.16 - 46.30 = 4.86 (mil)

The amount of 4.86 million yen for the legal fees is expensive and quite unusual for the case of this kind. Are the town officials incapable of handling (public) money? No wonder they are continuing to get ripped-off.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

filing a lawsuit against the man, demanding 51.16 million yen made up of the amount he took plus legal fees.

Basically he needs to pay for the town’s screw up. Why?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@noriahojanen

I'm sure the mayor's cousin's legal firm has been working around the clock on this case and deserves every bit of the 5 million yen they've quoted.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk ..."

Did they use their Windows 95 computer? Oh Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So, the plan is basically to run around with a briefcase heavy with 46 Mio JPY (plus whatever amount he owned before that). He won't go very far.

You can fit 46 million in a small shoebox. A stack of 10 million yen is about 10cms tall. Carrying it around shouldn't be a major issue, but he may want to either hide a portion in a secret location incase he is caught, or put it in some other currency, maybe even bitcoin. Problem is that the authorities will find a way to track his phone or any other device that may reveal his location. If he has some loyal friends that are willing to help him out with laundering the money, thats his safest bet.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At least two occasions I've read in this paper someone held accountable for the water blll for leaving the tap on.

So why not the govt official/s here whose mistake led to losing of the money?

Or they'll be held accountable only if/when the money is adjudged beyond hope of recovery?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

lol People still taking this story at face value.

The sources for the information in this article are government higher ups, and that's all you need to know.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wait a minute....

51.16 - 46.30 = 4.86 (mil)

The amount of 4.86 million yen for the legal fees is expensive and quite unusual for the case of this kind. Are the town officials incapable of handling (public) money? No wonder they are continuing to get ripped-off

Really? So what does a "case of this kind " cost?

My sister's 2 months long fight with her ex-husband during divorce cost well over ¥ 2 million and that wasn't even complicated, my friend's divorce and business battle with his ex-wife cost ¥ 6 million and only took 3 months.

I imagine this involving banks, city, private individuals and a lot of private individual's information.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So, the plan is basically to run around with a briefcase heavy with 46 Mio JPY (plus whatever amount he owned before that). He won't go very far.

He took weeks to transfer the fund in ¥600,000 increments.

I guess he was making sure the different bitcoins he was getting couldn't be traced at all.

Yeah he is 24 he is skilled at scamming the system.

First

It turned out he wasn’t living there long anyway, having only moved to Abu in October of 2020 through their Vacant House Bank program. These types of programs help owners of vacant homes in rural areas rent them out, while also attracting younger people to repopulate these areas through tax breaks.

Well that is one way, but according to the Japanese news the city was actually paying part of his rent under their version of the vacant house system.

What is the statute of limitation on collecting debt in Japan, 5 years?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He got away with it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A good boy - young, handsome and now rich, lololololol...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The money will never be found but he may be found but i hope he should never be found as well.

Story like this will be interesting that way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If they had gone to JP the transaction would have had to be verified by the entire fricken workforce

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've read somewhere that US SACCS transitioned from floppies only 2019.

Also governments and many industries still rely on cobol

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why do you laugh about using floppy disks? In that bygone era everything was still fine, well-structured and working peacefully on this planet. Everyone who has lived in the 80’s , bubble, 90’s , wants to have that era back. You newbies have no reason at all to laugh about it, and your current world, only one another inch before the edge, that’s something to laugh about, long and loudly. Or better shedding some last big tears…

2 ( +5 / -3 )

According to the law, regardless who makes the mistake, the receiver of the money is not entitled to it. He must pay the money back, even if he spends it or invests it, he must pay the entire funds back. I used to work in a Japanese bank and have seen this incident happen in Japan once.

I just hope they release his name and photo so his whole life can be destroyed. I'm not impressed when someone acts like this guy did.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TAGUCHI, Shou (the suspect) mother is also now missing, according to latest news reports...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First, why isn't this "man" named? Where is his photo?

"Meanwhile, the town realized what they had done and began looking for the money."

"Meanwhile"? How long did it take?

"When they found out where it went, they immediately tried to get in touch with the man but had a hard time." Because...?

This is a pathetically bad joke. Hope the mayor and the town's other politicians and support staff intend to give up their salaries for a year so the people of the town can get their COVID money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is so funny.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What sort of bank or city government uses floppy disks these days? They have been obsolete for decades. And, why does it take several days to figure out and fix this kind of error? This story just reinforces my belief that banks in Japan operate with one foot stuck in the Edo Period. At both of my commercial banks, the teller machines are more helpful than the hooman tellers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so he has about 4.6m yen to spend per year in Thailand... after 10years he can return and everyone would of forgotten what he did...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't care how much money it was $358,126.00 is not enough money to live off of at 24 years old for the rest of his life. Running is the most stupidest thing to do. What he should have did was simply turn himself in and say he spent it all even if he didn't. He would have probably been sued to pay it back but then who would want to hire such a person, or perhaps he would have went to jail and spent a few years in and call that a paid vacation until he got out. Anyways its not worth it, the money was not his money and he should have simply returned it to save himself the stress of running and looking over his shoulder. How stupid!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Invest it in bitcoin, and go to any country without extradition treaty with Japan.

The money will last for a lifetime.

This guy is a genius.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@ Tara

You need to travel more because this type of thing doesn't only happen in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can you imagine his facial expression apon viewing his banu balance ?

And again with the second payment ?

Priceless !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In my early 20s, my stock broker company made a mistake and put an extra $100K in my account - far more money than I had anywhere at the time. It wasn't exactly $100K, but a little over that amount.

I thought about it for a few minutes. I could have lived off that money for a few years, but my reputation would have been ruined. How could I work anywhere again? How could I look in the mirror every morning?

Then called the company and told them about the error. The next day, that money was gone.

Invest it in bitcoin

Bitcoin is down 50% since November and dropping. Bitcoin isn't an "investment". It is gambling. There aren't any fundamentals behind it, just like there weren't any fundamentals behind the Dutch Tulip mania. If you like gambling, certainly buy or mine some bitcoin. I have. But I did it long ago out of interest, not expecting anything ... except a higher power bill for those months of mining. I still have those BCs and may sell in 30 yrs, like I might sell some artwork. It isn't an investment. It is a tulip bulb that could be worthless or $5M by that time. Who knows? OTOH, I'm positive that my BKR stock will be worth much more in 30 yrs - likely over 60x more, but at least 30x more based on fundamentals.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Invest it in bitcoin, and go to any country without extradition treaty with Japan.

The money will last for a lifetime.

This guy is a genius.

Yeah, he gets to live a life on the lam, always looking over his shoulder wondering if/when it will catch up to him, never able to return to his homeland. Real genius, right?

 

...right?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The town compiled a list of all the applicants for the money and put all of their account information on a floppy disk to send to the bank in order to execute the transfers. 

Incredible! Was it an 8 inch floppy disc? Having said that though, I must admit, you can't beat a good old fashioned cheque. Such errors would just never occur, and a cheque can always be stopped.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just when I thought this story couldn't get any better! Too bad he will definitely be found. He has probably told someone about the money and they are going to end up turning him in.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

q: won't pass airport security with a briefcase full of cash

No, he'll need a musical instrument box.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

46 million JPY sounds like a lot, but it will be gone within a year, I guess,

A year? You must have quite expensive tastes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Best article I’ve read on JT yet! Made my day. Kinda like reading the comics section of the newspaper.

Id be chillin on some beach in Hedo or the Yanbaru Forrest. for the next ten years.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Looks like he owes the government quite a tax bill. ~16 million yen

National income tax on more than 40 million yen is 45% of taxable income minus 4,796,000 yen.

Plus more local taxes...

I'm guessing he's not planning to pay those taxes, so he's likely to be listed as a criminal for tax evasion. Considering the 99% conviction rate I always hear about there, he is probably going to have a difficult future...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How does he get away with moving 600,000 yen every day for about two weeks and the bank not notice? This is not unless he regularly moved a figure such as this. How did someone not notice this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Obviously this would not be possible in many countries. There are usually laws to stop you withdrawing or transferring money that you know is not yours.

So has the town dished out another 100,000 yen to each of the 463 households?

Actually I have so many questions. Was there an attempted cover up? Did the town official and/ or bank that sent the money out incorrectly sit on the information for 2-3 weeks before they did anything?

Has the guy applied for a passport and left Japan? They know this right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The You Tube video has very different information than the newspaper article quoted by JT. It says that is a crime. So the police will be looking for him. He will have to return the money and then do some prison time. As would be the case anywhere else in the world.

Unless of course he has gone overseas and they are not telling us that. Possible that he got a fake passport of course. Ferries go every day to Korea from right by where he lived. Close to Fukuoka international airport too. About 2 million yen for a fake passport.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FDIC--Oh wait, nothing like the FDIC here. That I am aware of.

What a mess. That is not a lot of money to run on long.. For sure he will be caught and sent off to trial and prison...I like the Angel and the Devil bit in the story...If you ever have one these moments for what ever reason. Have a look on Youtube what Japanese prisons are like....Bet you will be returning the money with a quickness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well it’s near half a million dollars. 430,000$ depending on the exchange rate. Gone in a year, nah I could make it last ten years then the statue of limitations is up . Winner winner chicken dinner!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good for him !

It's about time a citizen got some money outta the government and not some highly respected politician or bureaucrat that constantly milking the system.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is a Keystone cop version of the ringisho system of Japanese decision making. There must be consensus building before any meaningful and significant action can be taken. They have to go to the whole process again to decide whether the identity and photo of the perpetrator can be made public. By that time the perp could be halfway across the world and back. Hawaii has a similar situation with its governor. it takes him about 10 days before he can reach a decision when time is of the essence. It took him 43 minutes to cancel a false missile attack from North Korea that had all of its citizens in Hawaii scrambling for cover. He said he couldn’t find his Twitter password when all he had to do was call 911

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With this much money and this much time to escape, one of the most logical things to do is buy a property in a foreign country with half of it and deposit the other half while you build your life up from scratch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now you didn't really think he would give all that moolah back? Did ya? C'mon man!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my opinion Japanese banks should learn a lesson from this, think of it as a fine for incompetence and modernise their archaic systems. Floppy disk…?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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