Man Found Guilty after Pocketing Mistakenly Paid COVID-19 Aid
Yamaguchi, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--A court in western Japan on Tuesday found a man guilty of computer fraud for withdrawing from his bank account 46.3 million yen in COVID-19 relief money mistakenly sent from the town where he lived.
Yamaguchi District Court sentenced Sho Taguchi, 25, to three years in prison, suspended for five years. The prosecution had sought four years and six months.
Presiding Judge Taku Komatsumoto said Taguchi withdrew the money to play online casino games, leaving no room for leniency. The defense immediately appealed the ruling.
According to the ruling, Taguchi transferred the money to an online casino payment agency in April last year, knowing that the money had been sent to him by mistake from the town of Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
At his trial, Taguchi admitted to withdrawing the money, while the defense claimed his innocence, arguing that his use of his own card information to withdraw the money did not amount to the use of false information, a necessary element of computer fraud.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]