THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 29, 2021 at 18:20 JST
Tokyo prosecutors on Nov. 29 arrested Nihon University’s board chairman, Hidetoshi Tanaka, on suspicion of tax evasion concerning more than 100 million yen ($881,000) apparently provided by a pair of breach of trust suspects.
Tanaka, 74, is accused of deliberately hiding the money to avoid paying 53 million yen in income tax in violation of the income tax law, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office said.
Investigators suspect the money was provided over several occasions in 2018 and 2020 by Tadao Inoguchi, 64, a former board member of the university and a close confidant of Tanaka, as well as Masami Yabumoto, 61, former chief of Osaka-based Kinshukai, a major medical corporation group.
Tanaka denied receiving any cash from the two during voluntary police interviews.
Prosecutors have already indicted Yabumoto and Inoguchi on charges of breach of trust.
The two are suspected of causing a total loss of about 420 million yen to the university through shady dealings involving Nihon University’s Itabashi Hospital in Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward.
Tanaka had been questioned in the breach of trust investigation, but prosecutors found no evidence to prove he was involved in or aware of the actions of the two suspects.
However, the money trail in the investigation led in part to Tanaka.
Prosecutors suspect that some of the cash given to Tanaka was a “thank-you” gift that came from money paid by the university to a design company selected to manage a reconstruction project of the hospital.
Yabumoto and Inoguchi, who headed a university subsidiary that selected the design company, are believed to have repeatedly transferred fees paid to the company to defraud the university.
The money paid to Tanaka was also provided as a “congratulations” for his reappointment as university’s board chairman and for his birthday, among other things, investigative sources said.
Prosecutors concluded that the trio exchanged money based on Yabumoto’s message on the LINE app that instructed his personal assistant to withdraw money, bank records and other evidence, the sources said.
Yabumoto and Inoguchi have also admitted to giving gift money to Tanaka, the sources said.
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