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By Gina Tabonares

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 1) - The U.S District Court of Guam ordered a Yakuza member to pay total of US$ 3.3 million dollars for unlawfully taking money through fraudulent wire transaction.

In a recent sentencing hearing Ikuo Yoshizawa, 47, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge David Carter to stay in jail for 20 months and stay under supervised release for five years after his incarceration.

Yoshizawa, a member of Sumiyoshi-kai Boryokudan or Yakuza gang, a Japanese well entrenched crime syndicate entered a plea agreement on one count of information wire fraud, which he reportedly executed on March 6, 1992. Court records showed that Yoshizawa intentionally devised a scheme, with others known and unknown to federal law enforcement officers, to obtain money from Keisuke Ohtani by fraudulent representations and promises involving a Marianas Bank in Saipan.

The object of the scheme was to obtain US$3.3 million dollars from Ohtani and divert this money to projects, which were controlled by Kenji Nakajima, another member of the Yakuza group.

On the said date, Yoshizawa reportedly caused telephone fax signals to be sent from Saipan to Japan transmitting copies of fraudulent time certificates of deposit from the Marianas Bank to himself in Japan.

The convicted Japanese then hand-delivered the fraudulent time certificates of deposit to Ohtani indicating to the businessman that the 3.3 million dollars he had wire transferred earlier to Yoshizawa was still on deposit in the Marianas Bank, when in fact, the entire amount had been spent on projects belonging to Nakajima.

To avoid the maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, Yoshizawa entered into a plea agreement and promised to cooperate with the federal government by providing information concerning the unlawful activities of others.

Judge Carter ordered him to pay a fine of US$10,000 on top of the US$3.3 million restitution, which will be disbursed by the federal court to Ohtani, his victim.

Yoshizawa will be turned over to duly authorized immigration authorities for deportation after serving his jail term and was ordered by the federal court not to re-enter United States.

June 2, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com


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