The Generals were due!

The saga continues of the 24-year-old who accidentally received 46.3 million yen (US$358,000) in COVID-19 relief money and decided to keep it all.

As we learned last time, upon receiving the bank transfer, the man gradually withdrew the money that was intended for 463 homes in Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in amounts of about 600,000 yen ($4,600) every day for roughly two weeks. When it was all gone, he finally returned the town’s calls but told them, “It cannot be undone. I will not run. I will pay for my crimes…”

This was easier said than done, however. Spending money that was given is a rather murky “crime”, so the town struggled to find the correct course of action. In the end, they opted to sue him for approximately 51 million yen ($394,000) with legal fees added in.

However, by the time the lawsuit was filed, the man had gone on the run, quitting his job and abandoning his home. With his true motives completely hidden, we could only speculate whatever Machiavellian plan he concocted to stash the money and wait out his debt’s 10-year statute of limitation. I had a theory he was moving the money through crypto and meat…mainly because I always wanted to find a use for this stock image

But with this most recent development, I may have grossly overestimated this person…

On 16 May, a lawyer claiming to represent the man held a press conference. Although, he said he didn’t know the current whereabouts of the man, he said he had been in communication with him. At the press conference he simply reiterated the man’s claims, saying that the money had “run out” and that it could not be returned, stopping short of any details where it might have went.

▼ A news conference with the lawyer who either doesn’t want to be identified or has a very saucy face tattoo

Shortly afterward, JNN reported that people involved with the man were told that he had spent it all at a number of online casinos. When asked about the revelation, Abu Mayor Norihiko Hanada expressed his doubts, saying: “It’s hard to think that such a large amount of money would be used up so quickly, so I wonder if that’s the case.” He added that he expects the truth to come out in the trial.

Comments online, meanwhile, were divided over whether to believe someone could squander such a large sum of money in such a fast and ridiculous way.

“Oh, Kaiji…”
“What’s he talking about? He can totally give it back. Just get a job.”
“If he used an online casino, isn’t it technically a crime now?”
“It takes a special kind of talent to be able to lose that much money that quickly.”
“Maybe he played at the same table as people he knew…and like laundered the money that way?”
“He probably expected to win big enough and fast enough so he could return the original amount ‘honestly’ soon after and pocket the rest.”

While some complex theories emerged that the man could have somehow manipulated the online gambling market to launder his gains, it’s hard to read that last comment and imagine it having gone any other way. It would certainly explain his initial behavior in avoiding the town officials and his remorse when finally contacted.

There’s still a fair chance that this is yet another lie in the ever-growing web that surrounds this missing money though, and this story appears far from over. Still, it really is beginning to look like they should have aired that Gunma-chan episode that dealt with the dangers of gambling after all. It might have helped this guy.

Source: KRY, TYS Terebi Yamaguchi, My Game News Flash, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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