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Internet

Dotcom tycoon Takafumi Horie released from jail in Tokyo

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 2:44am

Japan's one-time maverick internet tycoon Takafumi Horie has used Twitter to announce his release from prison after serving nearly two years for accounting fraud.

True to form, Horie, a flamboyant dotcom entrepreneur, tweeted yesterday: "I was released on parole at about 7.40am."

More tweets followed, with the fallen head of internet service provider Livedoor saying he planned to hold a news briefing later in the day and adding: "Wicked. I'm busy doing business, etc."

The University of Tokyo literature dropout became a household name with his entrepreneurial style that broke the rules of corporate Japan and made him a hero to many young people. He has more than 900,000 Twitter followers.

Horie, 40, has long insisted he is a victim of the establishment.

He was sentenced to 21/2 years in jail by the Tokyo district court in 2007 for falsely reporting a pre-tax profit of five billion yen (HK$410.5 million) to hide losses at his company.

A high court appeal the following year was rejected, and the supreme court upheld his conviction again in 2011.

Horie was a member of the "Roppongi Hills tribe", an elite circle of rich young entrepreneurs who worked and played in a glitzy modern residential and business complex towering over central Tokyo. He dated leading actresses and zoomed around the capital in a Ferrari.