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Bank official charged with embezzling customer funds

Date Posted: 2005-04-01

A Bank of Okinawa assistant manager is being charged with misappropriation of funds in conjunction with theft of an elderly woman’s money.

The embezzlement first began last April, leading to the Bank’s firing the 50-year-old a week ago. Now the Ishikawa City Police have the case. Officials say ¥10,000,000 was embezzled from a 70-year-old woman customer.

The incident has shaken the bank, forcing it to cut the payroll of seven directors 2-5% for three months to make amends.

The assistant manager says “I was doing payments for a house loan for my parents, but my own salary was not enough, so I borrowed money from Sarakin Company.” He said that wasn’t enough, “and it wanted a bigger loan and more interest increases, and I couldn’t pay. I then used the customer’s time deposit.” Bank officials say he made a copy of the Deposit Certificate, which he gave to the woman. She didn’t check it because she trusted the senior bank official. “He was very creditable,” one bank staffer says. “We all thought he was very honest and a sincere person. I can’t believe he did this.”

The woman later found out her deposit had been swindled, without her permission, and went to the bank to demand “what’s going on with my time deposit?” A bank investigation uncovered the theft and discovered the assistant chief was the culprit.

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