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Embezzlement scandal rocks Bank of Ryukyus

Date Posted: 2010-03-17

A creative embezzler has been uncovered through an internal Bank of the Ryukyus investigation, and he’s been fired and is now facing criminal charges for ripping the bank off for more than ¥148 million ($1,681,818) over a six-year period.

Hayao Oshiro, Bank of the Ryukyus President, did not identify the employee, who he described as an “over 50 years old employee” who pocketed the money from 56 separate incidents between 2003 and this year. Oshiro says the man was illegally borrowing money from the bank’s consumer finance credit company. The creativity came as the embezzler forged 56 separate driver licenses using pictures taken from magazines.

The employee was a branch vice manager, responsible for financial section work, where he had decision-making authority to give or not give money to customers. Oshiro says the man is being charged with criminal activity. As the vice manager created the driver licenses and used them to disperse bank funds to the individuals, he then kept the money. His illicit activities were uncovered by surveillance cameras at ATM machines, where the phony deposits to people’s accounts were made numerous times to fictitious accounts.

Police have been called in and are conducting an investigation that will ultimately lead to an arrest. The man has already repaid ¥51.84 million, but ¥92.24 million in embezzled funds have not been recovered.

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