Covid fraudster takes $ 358,000, avoiding justice

A Japanese man has fled his entire city with relief money

A 24-year-old Japanese man has gone missing after allocating the equivalent of $ 358,000 in Covid relief money to all families in Abu Yamaguchi Prefecture. Local outlet Japan Today reported Monday that the full money had been sent to him because of a clerical error by city authorities.

The money was allocated last month to be distributed among his 463 families in the Japanese city. The person in question is one of many people eligible for funding.

However, the city authorities sent the details of the intended recipients to a bank along with a transfer order. The details of the man’s account were at the top of the list, and the bank mistakenly thought it was a proxy to transfer all funds to the beneficiaries’ accounts before they could be transferred, local media reported.

Abu Hidaki Nakamura’s mayor apologized for the clerical error and city officials tried to contact the man in an attempt to get the money back. On April 8, the man discovered that he had hit the jackpot. To avoid suspicion, he reportedly started withdrawing small amounts from his bank account every day for about two weeks.

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The beneficiary of the error did not come into contact with the authorities until April 21, when the Covid fraudster finally admitted to receiving the money. However, he informed the officials that the full amount is now gone and cannot be refunded. But he promised that he would not run away from justice. “I will pay for my crime.” He said.

Since the money was voluntarily handed over to the man, it was assumed that he could not be charged with any crime. So, it wasn’t until May 12 when the city finally decided to charge and demand a refund.

The suspect, however, broke his promise. He quit his job, cleared his bank account and disappeared. Some commentators have blamed the Japanese government for the mistake. “The authorities have given him enough time to flee. That’s right- “ One of the readers of Japan Today said.

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