The legal woes of former NOVA president Nozomu Sahashi aren't about to let up. While a decision on his current trial is due to be handed down on August 26, the trustees overseeing NOVA's bankruptcy have sued him for aggravated breach of trust, seeking ¥2.1 billion (roughly $22.6 million USD) in damages over the sale of videophone units by Ginganet, a company in which Sahashi was the sole share holder, to NOVA.
The Yomiuri shimbun and other news agencies are reporting that president of G.communication, Masaki Inayoshi, has failed to report ¥500 million (about $5.2 million USD) in income. The unreported income comes from him selling 230 shares in G.communication in 2007. Inayoshi reported the sales of some shares in 2006, which led the National Tax Agency to believe that his failure to report the income this time was intentional.
Today was the final day of Sahashi's trial, and in their closing statement, the prosecution asked that Sahashi be sentenced to five years in jail stating that his actions caused severe losses to students and employees, and that his taking money from the shayukai fund was no grounds for leniency. The defense reasserted that Sahashi is innocent and that he was trying to save the company from bankruptcy.
In his final statement, Sahashi expressed his desire to do as much as he can to repay the money taken from the fund. The judge will render his decision on August 26.
Day 6 of Sahashi's trial was today (funny, the papers seemed to have skipped reporting on the 4th and 5th sessions), and the notion that he might get off with a light sentence seems to have gained some ground. According to the Asahi shimbun, the judge threw out 2 depositions given by the assistant manager during the investigation in which he stated that Sahashi had instructed him to use money from the shayukai employee's fund.
Terrie Lloyd's column in Japan Today is supposed to be a look at the state of eikaiwa in Japan, but it's a poor effort stuffed with meaningless business-speak. Teaching English has been on a downward slide ever since Japan's asset bubble burst. The collapse of NOVA only served to make things worse. Let's take a look at the column.
Update on the Sahashi trial today. According to the Sankei shimbun, Sahashi testified that he didn't know how much money was in the shayukai employee's fund and didn't remember checking the balance himself. He also denied that taking money from the fund was his idea.
Sahashi's trial began today, and as expected, he admitted to taking 320 million yen from the NOVA employee's shayukai fund and apologized for the trouble he caused. His lawyers, however, claim that Sahashi's actions do not amount to a crime since as he was acting in the interests of the company.
The trial of former NOVA president Nozomu Sahashi is slated to start tomorrow, June 1, in the Osaka District Court. You'll recall that he was indicted last July on charges of embezzling ¥320 million from an employment benefit fund.