Kazutsugi Nami

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Kazutsugi Nami (波 和二 Nami Kazutsugi?, b. 19 May 1933 in Mie Prefecture) is a Japanese businessman and chairman of Tokyo-based bedding supplier Ladies & Gentlemen (L&G).[1] He has been involved in a number of fraudulent schemes since the 1970s, and was arrested most recently on 4 February 2009 on suspicion of orchestrating a massive investor fraud involving the "Enten" quasi-currency.[2]

APO Japan[edit]

In the 1970s, Nami became vice president of APO Japan Co., an auto equipment sales company in Tokyo. The company was involved in a pyramid scheme, collecting investments from about 250,000 people in a scam based on sales of exhaust gas removal devices. The company's operations became a social problem, and it went bankrupt in 1975.[3]

Nozakku[edit]

In 1973, before the bankruptcy of APO Japan, Nami established Nozakku Co., a company which sold "magic stones" that were claimed to turn tapwater into natural water.[4] The company's annual sales reached more than 2 billion yen a year before it too went bankrupt in 1978. Nami was arrested in September 1978 by Mie Prefectural police on suspicion of fraud, and was sentenced to prison.[3][4]

PHC[edit]

Before his arrest in 1978, Nami also established PHC, a company selling pressure cookers.[4]

L&G and "Enten"[edit]

Main article: Enten controversy

After being released from prison, Nami established the Tokyo-based bedding company L&G in August 1987. The company allegedly derived its income from a pyramid scheme.[3] At L&G, he invented the "Enten" quasi-currency (literally meaning Divine Money in Japanese). In February 2007, L&G dividends were distributed in Enten, rather than in cash, resulting in lawsuits and cancellations of accounts.[5] In October 2007, police searched L&Gs headquarters in Tokyo, suspecting that the company had violated investment laws, and the company declared bankruptcy in November 2007.[5] Nami was arrested in Tokyo on 4 February 2009 on suspicion of large-scale investor fraud along with twenty-one of his associates.[1] He insists that he is innocent, and is the victim and not the villain.[2] On March 18, 2010, Nami was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his scheme. [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "L&G execs arrested over investor fraud". The Japan Times. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  2. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (5 February 2009). "Arrests made in what could be biggest investment scam in Japanese history". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "L&G boss boasted of economic know-how, employed ruthless management style". Daily Yomiuri. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "ウォン天・ドル天構想も、波容疑者「マルチ人生」30年" (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Bedding company chairman, workers nabbed over massive investment scandal". The Mainichi Daily News. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]