Gambler ex-paper firm boss gets four years' jail for stealing 5.5b yen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 1:42pm

The disgraced ex-chief of Japan's Daio Paper was sentenced to four years in jail yesterday after losing millions in company money at casinos in Macau and Singapore.

The Tokyo District court said Mototaka Ikawa, 48, Daio's ex-chairman, abused his position at the company founded by his grandfather by ordering subsidiary firms to supply cash that financed his gambling and growing debts.

Ikawa was accused of stealing at least 5.5 billion yen (HK$544.51 million).

"He abused his controlling power over group companies," Judge Masaya Hotta told the court, according to Jiji Press news agency.

His lawyers immediately appealed the sentence, according to reports, which was less than the six years in prison demanded by prosecutors.

In a statement entitled "Apology", issued after his arrest in November, Ikawa said his gambling problems began after he initially won a casino jackpot, which followed heavy losses on currency and stock markets.

Ikawa's arrest drew heavy scrutiny in the wake of a financial scandal involving camera maker Olympus last year.