Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former employee of Hakuhodo DY Media Partners who was suspected of fraud and dismissed last September, according to the company and local reports.
Reports, originating from public broadcaster NHK, identified the employee as Masaki Nakajima, an employee who managed orders for the production of commercials. Police allege he worked with three other suspects at two advertising companies to place fake orders worth JPY 32 million (US$308,000) in November 2018. All four accused have denied these allegations.
In a statement, the company says the employee used the same scheme more widely for years to misappropriate up to JPY 700 million (US $6.7 million) through fictitious transactions from 2016-2019. Hakuhodo DY Media Partners further noted it will continue to cooperate with police on the ongoing investigation.
The company says it first uncovered the fraud last year as part of an internal investigation after which the employee was dismissed. It says transaction management has been improved and employees will be educated to help avoid the potential for such malfeasance in future.
Hakuhodo DY Media Partners is an integrated media company that is part of Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the parent company that also owns Hakuhodo, Daiko and Yomiko advertising agencies in Japan.
Full statement provided by Hakuhodo DY Media Partners to Campaign:
A former employee of the company (dismissed for disciplinary reasons on September 30, 2019) engaged in fraudulent use of fictitious transactions over three years from around 2016, embezzling a total of 700 million yen in cash from Hakuhodo DY Media Partners.
Becoming aware of the matter in September 2019, we reported it to the police, and commenced an internal investigation. Learning the details of the matter, we identified the above and submitted a criminal complaint.
We will fully cooperate with police investigations going forward.