Man Held for Using Part of Mistakenly Paid COVID-19 Funds


Yamaguchi, May 18 (Jiji Press)--A 24-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly using part of the COVID-19 relief funds totaling 46.3 million yen mistakenly paid to him by a western Japan town.

The Yamaguchi prefectural police arrested Sho Taguchi, a resident of the town of Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on suspicion of computer fraud.

He had been under intense media attention for weeks as he repeatedly rejected the town's request to return the funds that were intended for 463 other local households but paid mistakenly into his bank account.

According to the arrest warrant, Taguchi is suspected of obtaining an illegal profit April 12 by transferring 4 million yen out of the 46.3-million-yen funds to an account that a payment service company had opened at a Tokyo financial institution.

He is believed to have executed the transfer through an online payment service by operating a smartphone, though he knew that the funds had been paid into his bank account by mistake, the warrant said.

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Jiji Press