Pair who bilked ‘sales agents’ sent up

Kyodo

The Sendai District Court sentenced the owner of a mail-order company to five years in prison Thursday and another company executive to 32 months for swindling money from people who had registered to work as agents for the firm.

The 45-year-old owner, Kenji Tone, and Hisaki Konishi, 35, swindled about 17.7 million yen from 43 housewives and other people in Hokkaido, Saitama, Ehime and other prefectures between February and October in 2003.

Tone and Konishi told the people they would get 70,000 yen to 80,000 yen in commissions per month by delivering flyers.

“The action was well-organized and repetitive,” Judge Hiroaki Saito said. “The anger of the victims should also be taken into consideration.”

In their closing arguments in August, the prosecutors said there were about 7,300 victims nationwide and the total amount of defrauded money was more than 3.1 billion yen.