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Former L & G chairman busted on fraud charges

Date Posted: 2009-02-18

Many Okinawans are among the victims of Japan’s third worst money fraud scandal ever, bringing outrage in the aftermath of the arrest of L & G Corporation’s former chairman.

More than 37,000 people are thought to have been scammed by Kazuji Nami, who is charged with systematic fraud over the period 2000~2007. L & G, established in 1987 and known for its bedroom futons and healthy living supplements, was led into the new enterprise by Nami. He created a special coin he called ‘enten’ and used it with his slogan ‘Money never diminishes even if you buy something. The money doesn’t go away.”

Nami worked the con on thousands of ladies, leading the Tokyo National Police to put the case together. Police cite Nami’s claim ‘If you give me ¥1 million, I’ll return it to you with 9% interest every three months. You’ll receive 35% interest plus get your ¥1 million back.’ That never happened, police say, leaving more than 37,000 people, many of them women and senior citizens, bilked of ¥126 billion.

L & G, and Nami, invited famous entertainers and singers to host free concerts to attract investors, but the efforts failed and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Okinawa’s office in Ginowan has been hit by complaints, disgruntled ripped off customers saying “I invested money saved for my children’s education, and now it’s gone” and “I lost all my savings money to this company”. One elderly woman said she’d invested more than ¥30 million “because they told me that within three years I would receive more than ¥60 million.

Some staff continue to defend Nami saying there are ‘top class canvassers and members here on Okinawa.”

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