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Sahashi Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Three years after the collapse of Nova, there is finally some closure on the matter. Teachers are being paid the money owed them when the company went under, and ex-president Nozomu Sahashi will at last be behind bars after the Osaka High Court sentenced him to two years in prison for "corporate embezzlement."

The former president of English conversation school Nova was handed a two-year prison sentence for corporate embezzlement by the Osaka High Court on Dec. 2.

Nozomu Sahashi, 59, had been convicted of the offence by a lower court and sentenced to a three-year, six-month prison term in August last year. The high court decision on Sahashi's appeal confirmed his conviction for embezzling money from employees, but reduced the sentence as the funds were used to pay back customer deposits and Sahashi did not himself profit from taking the money. Sahashi intends to appeal.

While he intends to appeal, he doesn't appear to have a very strong case. Sahashi has long maintained that he took money from the Shayukai employee welfare fund to pay refunds and save the company. The problem with companies like Nova, where every aspect of their operation is controlled by the president, is that they have no concept of corporate governance. The company is theirs and any money in it can be used for any purpose. This is the essence of Sahashi's defense:

Sahashi's defense counsel argued that "The Shayu-kai did not exist as an independent entity, but was just one part of the company. The entire sum withdrawn was set aside for refunding customers, and thus was not embezzled." Furthermore, "If Nova had not been able to refund its customers, it would have gone bankrupt, and Mr. Sahashi fully intended to return the funds once the company attracted new investment."

That's some strange logic given that the game was over the moment Nova's fraud was exposed. Nova had close to $1 billion in debts and liabilities when it went bankrupt. Using the money from the Shayukai didn't stop the collapse. While Sahashi's lawyers did manage to knock 18 months off the sentence, I think it's safe to say that the final chapter of the story of Nova has been written, but like many drawn-out dramas, a lot of people will be disappointed with the ending.

Eikaiwa: 

Comments

I think there's a minor error in your last paragraph Shawn. His lawyers managed to get 18 months (1 year and six months) knocked off his sentence - not the six months that you said.

Please clarify:

Is The Monster of Eikaiwa actually IN PRISON NOW, or is he out, pending yet another appeal?

If he is in PRISON, which prison? Please include postal address.

I personally want to write him a letter.

You're right, I flubbed that part. Fixed it.

Shawn
Let's Japan.org::Blog

Yep teaching is a tough racket and the biz is cut throat. Sahash was just tryin to stay competitive and got caught up the glory and fame. Happens to the best of us. At least he had the balls to follow his dream and build somethin special.

Informative to the max when folks are able to talk from personal experience. Can we read more of Mr GAL's position on such activity? He obviously has a penatrating mind.

Saruhashi STOLE from his employees to "follow his dream"
I don't call that "having balls"
He will stay out on bail until the Supreme court refuse to hear the appeal or the hear it and send him to jail - like Muneo Suzuki who is crying sick to try and stay out of jail.
But the day he goes behind bars will come, and I would like to be there to cheer as he gets locked up

I worked for nova many a year. He stole more than he was worth. Let him go to prison and then when he comes out... my friends and I shall continue to monitor him.

track him, dog.

At least he had the balls to follow his dream and build somethin special.

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Somethin special which he also knocked down because he was a fucking moron.

My post at 15:04 was in response to a post by Get a life, which LJ then subsequently deleted and in no way was intended to infer that Saruhashi had any gumption.

"Saruhashi STOLE from his employees to "follow his dream"

I don't call that "having balls""

I do. And then he goes to court, and says he was doing it in his company's and customers' interest.

I call that having balls of steel. The kind of barefaced, brazen balls that occasionally gets the owner of said 'balls' acquitted. Although I hope I'm wrong, this time.

"Saruhashi STOLE from his employees to "follow his dream"

I don't call that "having balls""

I do. And then he goes to court, and says he was doing it in his company's and customers' interest.

I call that having balls of steel. The kind of barefaced, brazen balls that occasionally gets the owner of said 'balls' acquitted. Although I hope I'm wrong, this time.
.

Indeed. The same kind of balls displayed by a someone who murders both his parents and then pleads for the court's mercy because he's an orphan.

Let's not forget that this scumbag also stole from the instructors. The instructors were deducted rent money that was never paid to the landlords, so where did it go? Obviously MoneyBridge took it. No investigation, no charges, nothing. This bastard got away with it. Monkeybridge should be in a cell with Anders Lunqvist, Steve Farley, Felmming Lord, Johanne Simpson, Karen Miller, Edo Fackler, Tim Symons and many more. All Nova cocksmokers should be held accountable for their criminal acts.

change his name again when he gets out in 2012. Remember, he originally was known as "Saruhashi" ergo the nickname "MonkeyBridge". When is the trial of sleazebag Flemming Lord?

Monkeybridge should be in a cell with Anders Lunqvist, Steve Farley, Felmming Lord, Johanne Simpson, Karen Miller, Edo Fackler, Tim Symons and many more. All Nova cocksmokers should be held accountable for their criminal acts.
.

Oh, come on. Agreed, the various CAAMs, RAAMs and AAMs might have been a bunch of absolute pricks but what did they do that was actually criminal? There may be, or should be, a case for Anders Lundqvist to answer, though, as one of the directors. Nova sold lesson packages to students after promising they could reserve classes any time they liked, even though the company wasn't hiring enough teachers to actually teach the classes. I think the word for that is fraud. Actually... now that I think about it, the AAMs did get bonuses based on their areas' sales performance, and they must have known what the personnel situation was. So yes, fair enough. Lock 'em all up.

Those who stood by... watched idly... acted as sycophants... maybe even cheered... are responsible too. Perhaps not legally responsible but - more importantly - in a moral way. If they benefited...? Pardon the abuse of punctuation. I am bored of spelling all this out. This will be my last posting about the supernova. That is all.

What excatly do you mean by "co-conspirators"?

Thinking of “want to be” titled instructor prior to seeking “promotion”:

“Eight lessons a day are KILLING me. Bullshit job. No other prospects. Shit. I will do ANYTHING to reduce my time in the cage. ANYTHING. Yeah, everyone hates those TITLED toffs, but I am not ready to go home, BUT I can’t keep doing the eight a day, 5 days a week. It is KILLING me! That firkin book! I HATE IT”.

Thinking of Titled Instructor AFTER promotion:

“Phew……less lessons……still shitty job, but at least I feel like my head is not going to implode. I am just as dispensable at anyone else but, just as vulnerable. OK, anything to avoid time in the cage, so (a) Play the bullshit game and (b) Amplify the HATE from the instructors, so they don’t even think about knocking off my position. Make them hate me. Make them hate anyone who seeks or has a Titled Position. ANYTHING, other than going back to the full eight in the glass cage. The more people that would not consider it, based on believing what a wanker I am, for following the bullshit corporate vision, which even an idiot knows does not really exist, the BETTER. Insulate myself and my job, with hate, and disrespect. Preserve my NO DAMN BOOK time, at ALL COSTS!

CO-CONSPIRATORS…………………..NO!

DESPERATE……………………………..YES!

Anyone one who worked passed the first instance of non-payment is a co-conspirator. These fools enabled this fraud to occur. It would not have happened in any other Western democracy. A united wildcat walk out would occur anywhere else.

Every instructor who gave it one more day just to see if they could get paid, allowed this to occur. These spineless useless self interested scumbags can't turn around now and start crying. Question your own culpability before you point fingers.

Learn from your mistakes.
Next time it happens, and it will, act as a single unit and walk. Your co-workers are your brothers. You had the power to crush Saruhashi long before he boned you. Go out today, grow a pair and join a union. You have a voice, use it.

Don't keep suckling after the milk has run dry. That just makes one a hungry little capitalist piggy drone.

@Enjoy

Spineless scumbags? That's quite a thing to say, never mind to take the time to post on a forum, in your free time, about a subject that, assumedly, has nothing to do with you. I'd be interested to know why it has affected you so strongly?

There were people who had kids, or who had just arrived, or who were supporting relatives, or who were fulfilling a lifelong ambition of travel, or who were naturally diligent, or who didn't know better (and do know), who were lied to, and all of whom were different human beings you know nothing about.

I will never understand why some people become so bitter about life.

Then there were the people who just stuck around for the ride because it was, like fun. It's not every day you get to see a company go down first hand is it?

And what would this united act of brotherhood have actually achieved, by they way? I can't see that it would have got wages paid any faster, or stopped the looting of the staff funds. On the contrary, sticking around allowed people to screw a few more bucks out of a fucked unit, and then to screw the next fucked unit for a few more before going home.

Unionism only ever works to the members benefit when practiced upon viable means of production. At the time of its collapse, Nova certainly wasn't that

Learn from your mistakes.
Next time it happens, and it will, act as a single unit and walk. Your co-workers are your brothers. You had the power to crush Saruhashi long before he boned you. Go out today, grow a pair and join a union. You have a voice, use it.

Pah. As if that would have done any good. It would have just provided Saruhashi with the opportunity to say "I could have saved Nova if I hadn't been stabbed in the back by stupid, selfish foreigners who don't know how business works in Japan." And enough people might have swallowed it to reinforce the impression that gaijin are further down in the gene pool than amoeba.

"Then there were the people who"

"@Enjoy"

"Pah. As if that would have done any good"

Yes the Lumpenproletariat have spoken and they says they likes being boned by their capitalist massers, yes sirs they sure does!

Then they enlighten us with their wisdom,

"Unionism only ever works to the members benefit when practiced upon viable means of production"

What you overlook is that unviable means of production wouldn't flourish if Unions check them. The "chicken had already flown the coop" argument is poor and needs more consideration. An organised workforce forces management honesty. Proven time and time again.

Oh, and the "I'm alright Jack" point of view (Then there were the people who) is fine coming from a 16 year old. You weren't just in the country to check out school girls by any chance?

And the "as if it would have" stance.

Come on, would have, could have, might have. We have all met you before. Never do anything but look back and make excuses why doing nothing was the right choice. Brave, very brave. Sure you make mom and pop proud.

Come on, would have, could have, might have. We have all met you before. Never do anything but look back and make excuses why doing nothing was the right choice. Brave, very brave. Sure you make mom and pop proud.
.

And how about you? Been fired for standing up for your principles recently? Ever walked out or pissed off your boss by openly protesting about pay and conditions? If not, you are not entitled to sanctimoniously lecture everyone else about not being brave when you haven't displayed any bravery yourself.

I personally had late night drinks one night with a famously heavy drinking RAAM.

Actually a nice bloke.

He confided the following (as I recall):

“You know what Jackie, I don’t give a farkin shit, I truly don’t. It is just a game, and as long as you play by the rules, it is the easiest job in the world. Just play the game, appear serious, but never take it seriously. It is the only job in the world, where I can get paid what I get paid, and finish work at 5.00, and not even think for five seconds about the job after work, so don’t bother thinking you have to talk shop with me. It’s all bullshit. I could not give a fark. I do this because I don’t want to teach lessons anymore. I have been there, and done that. I get weekends off. I finish work at 5.00. This place is simple. They run it, you just do exactly what they say, fill in their stupid forms, do up your top button, never be late, and simply enjoy Japan, and don’t otherwise give a shit. You know what the beauty of Japan is? People come and people go, all the time. Most of the time, they leave Japan, because they are sick of it. As for me, I am almost 50 now, and have not yet faced the experience when I get off the plane, that I did not want to be here. When I do, I will leave too. I like my life here. I have been here so long, it has got to the point, where based on the money, I can’t leave. What would I do? What would I do back home? Everyone knows the job here is bullshit, and who wants a silver head like me anyway? Seriously, just learn their simple rules, and they are simple, and forget about the damn job. It’s all just a game. Follow the rules, and life is easy. Someone will leave, if you get sick of teaching. Meantime, where else are you going to get paid to sit down and talk with people? I am an RAAM, and I actually don’t know the first thing about English grammar. It is all just one giant game, and besides, the party afterwards is what is more important. It’s all about fronting up each day, following the very basic rules, and apart from that, having fun”

You mean how bloody brilliantly the UK miners union ' protected' the coal industry to its dying breath? They lost, because they no longer had the power to bring the country to a halt like they did in 1924 and there wasn't much coal left anyway. And you seriously expect a bunch of backpackers who are going home soon anyway to put up a fight like that over a company like Nova? Come on. You're the 16 year old in this debate.

"I personally had late night drinks one night with a famously heavy drinking RAAM"

Obviously you're not talking about dave Clayton then. "Two cans" was his nickname, among the teachers I worked with, as, after said two cans, his eyes were swimming around like goldfish, and the sycophantic, skirt chasing scouse scumbag would be even more unintelligible than usual.

I was in Clayton`s area and he was one of the biggest hypocrites and Nova pole smokers of all time. I have it on good word that he climbed Mt Fuji with a Nova student and hung around them plenty. Also this little turd tried to get down the pants of plenty of the students.
After polishing enough knobs to become an AAM he then went on to discipline instructors for the same thing. What a sorry bag of shit Clayton is. Nobody respected him and you can only imagine what we said about him behind his back.

No, not talking about Two Cans.

Talkin about STEVE MAC. He was alright, old STEVE MAC was.

She was alright. Kind of glad I worked in her area cos the other AAMs seemed like prats

Well, ya know, I used to teach, it's a pretty tough racket. I had some nice sh1ts and giggles though. Owe it all to Mr. Sahash. For if it wasn't vision, courage and gumption, a lot of us never would have had a chance to see the land of rising sun. The man mad a couple of questionable management calls, we all know that. But without his ambition Japan wouldn't be as international as it is.

Hank

Teachin
Well, ya know, I used to teach, it's a pretty tough racket. I had some nice sh1ts and giggles though. Owe it all to Mr. Sahash. For if it wasn't vision, courage and gumption, a lot of us never would have had a chance to see the land of rising sun. The man mad a couple of questionable management calls, we all know that. But without his ambition Japan wouldn't be as international as it is.

Hank? I thought your name was Luke.

Teachin Fri, 12/03/2010 - 13:07 — Luke (not verified)
Yep teaching is a tough racket and the biz is cut throat. Sahash was just tryin to stay competitive and got caught up the glory and fame. Happens to the best of us. At least he had the balls to follow his dream and build somethin special.

Honestly, if you're going to adopt various aliases at least try to vary the writing style a bit. You're obviously new to trolling or you'd know not to just make the same post twice and stick a different name on it.

Don't matter what yer name is, teachin's a tough racket, I know cause I did it. Worked for Mr. Sahash's company too, biggest one of it's kind in the world. He and I know what it's like to be on top, but nothing last forever. Hell, it ain't easy being the best.

"...Unionism only ever works to the members benefit when practiced upon viable means of production. At the time of its collapse, Nova certainly wasn't that...

says the guy with sick leave, paid holidays and salary increases.

"...Unionism only ever works to the members benefit when practiced upon viable means of production. At the time of its collapse, Nova certainly wasn't that...

says the guy with sick leave, paid holidays and salary increases.
.

Nova certainly wasn't giving anyone salary increases while it was collapsing. The amounts they'd been awarding had been steadily falling until around 2007 no one was getting anything.

I'll speak for the staff. In 1996, NOVA went public and had an IPO of 5,460yen. The Japanese staff had to buy NOVA stocks, like all supermarkent workers in Japan have to buy Chistmas cakes in December. Anyways, NOVA stock was valued half the next year and the following years between 500 to 1,500yen. Nozomi Saruhashi owned 48% stock in NOVA in 1996 and there were 14,990,800 NOVA shares. Also, 猿橋 陽You (Yo-U) Saruhashi (uncle?), and 猿橋 泉Izumi Saruhashi owned 39.7% of NOVA stock in 1996.

So, people who are angry with Saruhashi or Sahashi or Monkeybridge, they have a legitmate complaint. Also, the real mob, the Yakuza's are really pissed. You hold somebody hostage for a reason.

Where's the money?

Teachin's a tough racket, even the J-Mafia knows that. Sahash had to swim with the sharks...

Hank

Yeah, he sure did swim wiff em, and did well, for a long time, many people benefitting, many of them, all lapping up the gravy boat, while partying to excess in Japan. It's tough to stay at the top forever, people flying on your coat tails, and when you topple, "Sniff, sniff, boo-hoo, I DEMAND that coat tail come back, be accountable, I DEMAND IT, THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, what about my rights?"

You all knew who you were working for. You all knew what he was. You still stayed, and when the sharks started to bite, you all pretended you didn't know, and wanted money and rights. You chose to take a cruise in the gravy boat you knew damn well was paper thin. Don't bitch about Sahash, now your party boat has sunk. You are as guilty as he is. You knew it was all bullshit, but you turned up everyday, to get your PISS money, so you could drink more PISS, and maybe so you could sit there, and do a flirty wirty will some cosmetics painted, sweet smelling J babe, from time to time.

You knew. You all knew, it was a giant scam, and you are a liar, to say otherwise.

Shame on the lot of ya!

I have a suspicion that Hank, Jake the Muss, Bill Drunkard and MOSES are all the same person.

If work is so important, so defining, so intrinsic to a human being, why are they wasting their time on a forum crying about things that never affected them??? I imagine these are trolls, which is just as sad.

Anyway, money on the 10th!! Lovely jubbly (though naturally i now feel it's tainted and am ashamed of myself, the money, and my entire life, past, present and future, and my family are disgusted, my life was Nova....meh)

Mahy people knew, but you have to bear in mind that the vast majority only came out for a year and a high proportion of them were starry eyed new grads. What about the 700 new hires who only stayed in the job for a few weeks. Did they know? Sure they found out, but that was after arriving. What are you supposed to do? Go 'oh no, this is a scam, I'm leaving right now' fuck the money I just lost coming out here? And that's just the smart ones. There was in fact quite a lot of naivety and self denial. Plenty of people finished out and went home saying that it was all OK, and very few knew very much at all about the man up top.

Look, teachin's a tough racket, but you gots to deal with the sh!t to be the sh1t. Sure we knew the type of game we were playing, so did Mr. Sahash. Fortune favors the bold.

Look, teachin's a tough racket, but you gots to deal with the sh!t to be the sh1t. Sure we knew the type of game we were playing, so did Mr. Sahash. Fortune favors the bold.
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Fortune didn't do Saruhashi any favours. Such is the state to which he has been reduced that the only person willing to defend him is you, and if you aren't a troll you're suffering from some kind of obsessive-repulsive disorder.

Anyway, money on the 10th!!

I think it's the 16th, not the 10th... at least according to the letter.

When Nova stopped payments, you either walked or went on strike to piss them off, or you dragged your butt in to work to make them happy. Either way, it was all for them.

It's like I said, Teachin's a tough racket. Sometimes you work for Mr. Sahash and you don't get paid until 3 years later. The man always comes through on his promises, better late then never.

Hank, that MOSES person seems to think you're an asshole.

Or is the other way round. Or both. And yet neither. In any case I hope all your stupid troll posts get deleted quite soon.

I want my money. Someone let me know how I can make this happen.

@12:55...don't be a cluck..just take your losses in the bum like us Ozzies had to do with GEOS here...it's how the game is

Well can't log in on old name...but got 23,000 yen from NOVA today...hope you did as well or better!

Yes, those names are and deserve to be in the hall of infamy of Nova. Some of them are still in Japan. Lundquist may be working at a school in the Kobe area, and Simpson has been sighted in Kyoto from time to time. Farley is running an outfit called Global, which is big now in outsourcing "ALTS," & playing footsie with local school boards etc

Heard Fackler was in the US, possibly with a name change, playing with other ultra right wing fellow travelers.

I know all this happened long ago and alot of people have a lot to complain about (rightly so) however I want to give everyone a slightly different perspective on Nova based on what I saw in 18 months from Jan 96 to Jun 97.

I arrived in Japan armed to the teeth with teaching qualifications and experience; A postgrad degree in Education from Oxford University, CETFL from Madrid in Spain, 4 years teaching at Oxford Brookes University and a year at a secondary school in the UK. I was and still am a teacher; born to be a communicator, a teacher, whose daily life is lit up in those moments when you, as a teacher, see the light of understanding come on in the eyes of those you have been given responsibility to empower (aka teach) with knowledge. I loved it when I started and I still love it today.

And I loved being able to do that at NOVA. Nova was an opportunity if you took it, to polish up your skills as a teacher and to hone those skills for working with Japanese people.

However, you really had to have had your training in the art of teaching before you arrived because the woefully inadequate OJT for three days (at that time) followed up by the I think three more half days of training in probation were in no way going to allow graduates with no experience of (and in some cases interest in) teaching to adequatley do what NOVA was suggesting they could; enable a Japanese person to get value for money from their teacher.

Having seen this unbelievable state of affairs first hand where teachers were in many cases wholly unable to be the teachers that their students needed I actually thought I could make a difference. I thought that I could enthuse and encourage Nova teachers to learn to love the process of teaching and through that help them to become better teachers for their students. My thought process was that if the teachers began to understand the reasons WHY they were being asked to use basic language teaching techniques (how to introduce language in an accessible way, how, when and why to use a drill and how they help students to produce their own language in the future and so on (the list is endless)), then maybe the quality of teaching would improve.

If the teaching improved, students would get more from lessons.
Students who got more from lessons would make complaints about teachers/teaching less often.
Fewer complaints about teachers / teaching would reduce the need for ATs, Ts head Teachers to act as "company police" (I hated that part of the job and refused to do it on many an occasion or chose to not "police" the teachers even when asked leaving it to the AAM to do (Edo), so if you got a bucket of shit from him you can blame me because it should have been my job but I didn't see the point in doing it, so Edo had to do it instead).
Titled teachers could have then actually do what the position was created to do, HELP PEOPLE BECOME BETTER TEACHERS.

That's why I wanted to do it. I became a Head Teacher at Tennoji Honko (right next to Edo's office) after only 13 months in the company. I met Tony Byrne once in the elevator at Head Office and he surprised me by saying he knew of me "You are the guy who wants teachers to know why they are doing what they are doing right?" I was asked. Edo then closed down my teaching schedule for a month to allow me to totally rewrite OJT and the other trainings in an attempt to better train our Area One teachers.

I was then offered a job in Education Training in Head Office.

It was then that I said "No" and left the company.
Because it was then that I realized that NOVA was a business and not an educational establishment and that the profit motive would always take precedent over training staff who would likely move on very quickly.

Maybe you could say I should have seen that more quickly, howver for me it was an essential learning process.

However in my time at Nova I had the pleasure to work with others who also loved teaching and training others to be as good as they could; to try and learn new skills in new environments; Colin from NZ was one such man. A class act and a gentleman to boot. Bidi, Henry, Ian among others. It was a shame that the corporate culture that existed squashed the plans of many titled teachers who genuinely wanted to make everyone's experience at Nova better.

I now run my own very small business here in Japan with another ex-Nova teacher. We concentrate on educational quality over pursuing the profit motive. I am glad of my time there and I hope that if we worked together at Tennoji, you are enjoying what you do.

Dave

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