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Sony Life employee suspected of hiding swindled cash

  • December 21, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 5:00 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo police referred an employee of Sony Life Insurance Co. to public prosecutors Tuesday on suspicion of concealing fraudulently obtained money by converting it into bitcoins.

Rei Ishii, the 32-year-old employee of the Sony Group Corp. <6758> unit, has already been indicted on fraud charges for allegedly obtaining some 17 billion yen through an illegal money transfer from an overseas unit.

It is the largest amount of concealed money in a case covered by the law on punishment of organized crimes and control of crime proceeds, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Ishii has admitted to the allegations, saying that he wanted to obtain a large amount of money and that he believed the sum would not be frozen even if discovered if it was in bitcoins.

He is suspected of illegally sending some 155 million dollars from the U.S. bank account of SA Reinsurance Ltd., a Sony Life Insurance unit based in Bermuda. He then allegedly exchanged the money into bitcoins to hide the gains.

Ishii was arrested on suspicion of fraud on Nov. 29. The bitcoins were seized by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and are being processed for return to Sony Life Insurance at a U.S. federal court, according to the police.

Sony Life Insurance released a comment pledging to raise awareness of compliance among its workers and to strengthen its oversight of subsidiaries.

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