Sekisui House land fraud incident – primary offender sentenced to 11 years in prison – Tokyo District Court
June 10, 2020
The Tokyo District Court sentenced Misao Kaminskas (formerly Koyama. 60 years old. Minato-ku, Tokyo) to 10 years in prison (vs. 14 years proposed). Kaminskas was accused of fraud and other charges in a case where the leading housing company Sekisui House was defrauded of about 5.5 billion yen by a fraudulent landlord group over a transaction of land in Nishigotanda, Tokyo. Minoru Morishita, the chief judge, said, "He played a primary role in the incident."
The defendant had pleaded not guilty saying that he had believed that Masami Haketa (65 years old, sentenced to 4 years in prison), who pretended to be the true owner of the land, was a real landowner, and that he was not aware that it was a fraud.
The chief judge pointed out that it was quite unnatural that the defendant did not verify the identity of Haketa given that a potential buyer different from Sekisui House indicated to the defendant that the owner might be fake, and that the defendant should have been involved knowing that the owner was fake.
In addition, the chief judge, noting that the defendant had assigned a role to each of the fraudulent landlord group members, said that the defendant had played an essential role in the crime. Also the judge said "it was a serious organized crime and caused a significant loss" and noted that the defendant had earned at least 100 million yen.
Of the 10 people prosecuted in the case, Kaminskas was the last one for whom judgement of first instance was made, and the final and binding judgment was already made for five of them.
According to the ruling, the defendant, in cooperation with other fraudulent group members, defrauded Sekisui House of approximately 5.55 billion yen by pretending, using a fake passport, to be the true owner of an old inn site at 2-chome, Nishigotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo.