The chief of U.S. asset manager MRI International Inc. says that most of its clients’ money is gone, informed sources revealed Saturday.
Edwin Yoshihiro Fujinaga, 66, told investigators from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission that his company used most of its clients’ assets. Fujinaga, who lives in the United States, made the statements to the SESC in Japan earlier this year, the sources said.
He also told the securities watchdog that some of the U.S. medical accounts receivables it invested in remain on the books, they said.
MRI International is suspected of having lost most of its clients’ funds. According to its claims, the total could exceed ¥130 billion raised from some 8,000 clients.
The Nevada-based company is believed to have used most of the money to pay dividends after 2011. The SESC is considering its options, which include filing a criminal complaint against Fujinaga, the sources said.
The SESC raided the Tokyo office of MRI and other related locations Friday while the Financial Services Agency deregistered it as a financial instruments firm.
Meanwhile, some of MRI’s clients and other parties involved said Saturday that the company falsely told them their funds would be managed safely in a special account under U.S. banking law.
According to its brochures, the company said clients’ funds were to be deposited into a “lock box account” at major U.S. bank Wells Fargo and that the funds were safe because they could only be used to trade MARS, a securitization product based on medical institutions’ claims on insurance companies.
The SESC investigation has revealed that MRI did not use the special account as was explained to its clients.