Ex-Japan Life Chairman Yamaguchi Pleads Guilty to Fraud


Tokyo, Sept. 22 (Jiji Press)--Takayoshi Yamaguchi, former chairman of failed multilevel marketing company Japan Life Co., pleaded guilty to fraud charges on Wednesday.

In the first hearing of his trial at Tokyo District Court, presided over by Judge Ryuta Asaka, Yamaguchi, 79, apologized for his actions.

In its opening statement, the prosecution side said that Yamaguchi was in charge of overall operations of the company, including its finances. It argued that Yamaguchi sent instructions to managers and branch chiefs around the country via the Line messaging app and by phone, ordering subordinates to have customers wishing to get refunds to withdraw their requests.

The prosecutors read out a statement by one victim that expressed anger and shock over "being defrauded out of the money saved by working farm fields from morning to night."

According to the indictment, Yamaguchi allegedly failed to disclose to 20 customers the fact that Japan Life's financial situation had deteriorated to the point that the company had no prospect of being able to pay dividends or give refunds. In August-December 2017, the 20 customers made contract payments totaling some 165.6 million yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press