Japanese investor's writ claims HK$111m swindle

Businessman's writ says brothers misled him over sports gambling venture

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 7:55am

A businessman is claiming damages of more than HK$100 million in a Hong Kong court from two companies and two Japanese men in an alleged investment scam.

Takahiro Tashio's High Court writ says Osaka residents Shin Tanaka and Manabu Tanaka enticed him into investing the money in so-called sportsbook arbitrage through their two companies - Club Issei Hong Kong Limited and Shin Tanaka Limited.

The system exploits differences in bookmakers' prices to make a profit.

Tashio, who lives in Macau, met Manabu Tanaka in October 2009 when the latter was in the enclave for a tour organised by a company related to Tashio. Eight months later, Manabu Tanaka approached Tashio and introduced the investment deal to him.

Tashio's writ says he took on more than 2,000 staff and traders in Hong Kong to manage and run the business, and that the investment was supposed to bring promising returns.

Tashio says he then loaned HK$57.7 million to the two companies. The duo had said they would manage the funds but had not repaid any of the money. With interest of HK$52.9 million, Tashio says he lost HK$111 million.

The writ says Shin Tanaka admitted the funds had not been used in the business but had been passed to a friend on the mainland. Tashio then discovered the two companies had hardly any staff at the registered addresses in Austin Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, and in Macau.