Moritomo Chief Kagoike, Wife Guilty Again for Subsidy Fraud

Society

Osaka, April 18 (Jiji Press)--Osaka High Court on Monday upheld a lower court's five-year prison sentence for Yasunori Kagoike, 69, head of Japanese school operator Moritomo Gakuen, for fraudulently receiving public subsidies.

Meanwhile, Presiding Judge Masaki Nishida gave a two-and-a-half-year prison term to Kagoike's 65-year-old wife, Junko, overriding Osaka District Court's suspended sentence for her.

According to the ruling, the couple swindled the Japanese government of some 56 million yen in subsidies in 2016-2017, by padding school construction costs, and also cheated the Osaka prefectural government and the city government of Osaka out of some 120 million yen in subsidies between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2016, including by falsely reporting the number of teachers and the number of children in need of special care.

Moritomo Gakuen came under fire after it was found to have acquired a state-owned land plot in the city of Toyonaka in Osaka, western Japan, at a massive discount in 2016 to build an elementary school.

The scandal triggered favoritism allegations against then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose wife, Akie, once served as the school's honorary principal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press