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Moai group members bilked by leader

Date Posted: 2007-10-08

A high stakes moai group is scrambling to take its financial representative to court, hoping to recoup the millions of yen they it says he stole from them.
More than 400 people from Naha and Urasoe Cities, and as far north as Nago City, charge the group’s representative has been collecting their money for more than two years, promising “You can get very high interest by paying some money in the short time.” The Bannai Moai Group says the system had worked well until June, when the representative stopped making payments.
Bannai Moai Group members say the monthly moai payment was ¥500,000 per person, with the understanding they’d receive ¥600,000 within 12 weeks. The group met in coffee shops to make payments.
The angry moai group members say the representative has collected about ¥2 billion ($17.4 million) from them, and now they can’t find him. When they do, members say they will take him to court.
A Motobu area member said he’s paid ¥6 million into the moai coffers, but received interest payments a few times, but nothing recently. A woman belonging to the group bemoaned the fact “I paid the group without asking my husband, and the money was actually his money. I was going to make money and surprise him, but now it’s too late.”

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