10 Yrs Sought for Ex-Sony Life Employee for "Unprecedented" Fraud

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors on Wednesday sought a prison term of 10 years for a former Sony Life Insurance Co. employee who is charged with fraudulently obtaining about 17 billion yen from an overseas unit of the Japanese insurer.

At Tokyo District Court, the prosecution condemned the accused, Rei Ishii, 33, as committing an "unprecedented case of massive fraud," while the defense sought leniency. The court is slated to hand down a ruling on Nov. 18.

According to the indictment, Ishii is alleged to have had 155 million dollars transferred from the overseas subsidiary's U.S. bank account to an account under his management on May 19 last year by pretending to be instructed to do so by a superior.

He is believed to have converted all the money into bitcoin the following day, in an apparent bid to hide the illegal gain.

The bitcoin holdings were confiscated through joint efforts by Japanese and U.S. investigative authorities. By the time when the money was returned to the company in August this year, its value swelled to around 22.1 billion yen, thanks to exchange rate changes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press