Most of the countries in the world have provided financial relief for low-income households during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to help families deal with the crisis. However, some of those funds ended up in the wrong hands. The accidental recipient had different ideas about what to do with that money.
Town Relief Money Mistakenly Transferred to a Single Account
A Japanese man mistakenly got the Covid-19 funds intended for the whole town deposited into his personal account, However, Sho Taguchi, the unintended recipient, did not report the mistake or returned the money erroneously wired to him. Instead, according to the police, he spent most of the money gambling in Japanese Yen online casinos. The whole case has attracted the attention of the national media and the story has spread way beyond this small town. Taguchi’s actions have drawn disbelief and outrage throughout Japon.
24-year-old has now been arrested
On Thursday, the local police issued a statement saying that the 24-year-old has now been arrested. After the arrest, Taguchi admitted that most of the money originally intended as a pandemic relief for low-income households is gone. Did these funds with offshore online casinos? The culprit lives in the town of Abu in western Japan and is currently unemployed. For now, he is being held by the Yamaguchi prefectural police on a suspicion of computer fraud.
The funds that ended up in Taguchi’s account were initially supposed to be Covid-19 subsidies. Nevertheless, back in April, they were transferred to the Abu native’s balance. According to the original plan by the town, they were meant to help low-income households in Abu. The town which has a population of only 3,372 has 463 such households and each was supposed to receive relief in the value of $780. However, one of the town’s officials made a mistake. The whole amount was transferred by a single request to Taguchi. The likely reason for the mistake is that his name was the first one on the list of recipients.
Most of the Money Already Gambled Away At Offshore Online Casinos?
According to the police, after discovering the error, the town asked Taguchi to return the money. But, he refused the request which lead to the lawsuit the town filed against him. The reason for Taguchi’s arrest was the alleged transfer of 4 million yen or $31,000 to the account that supposedly belongs to the online casino. So far, the police have not released the exact amount of money that was gambled away. However, they did say that most of the money is gone.
The lawyer representing Taguchi gave an interview to the Japanese broadcaster TBS News, He said that the complete amount transferred to the account was used at the overseas online gambling site. The lawyer added that Taguchi regrets his actions and hopes to be given a chance to return the money in incremental amounts.
At the same time, the town is conducting its own investigation amid increasing criticism for its residents. The goal is to discover how the erroneous transfer happened and how it went unnoticed. The Mayor of Abu, Norihiko Hanada, spoke to reporters on Thursday and said that he hopes that the arrest will lead to tracing and full recovery of money.