Suspect admits selling Benesse customer data, gambling away cash


A man who has admitted involvement in the massive leaks of Benesse Corp. customers’ personal information has also told police that he sold the illegally obtained data to a name-list broker for millions of yen that he used for gambling, sources said Tuesday.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is questioning the broker while checking the sold data against the original information stored on Benesse’s database.

The man has told authorities that he used the money for gambling, the sources said.

The Metropolitan Police Department plans to seek an arrest warrant for the man later this week on suspicion of illegal copying and disclosing business secrets.

The suspect is a systems engineer dispatched by a staffing agency to a company manages databases for Synform Co., a Benesse Holdings Inc. group affiliate.

Using a personal computer borrowed from the Benesse side, he allegedly accessed the company’s database and downloaded the customer data to a USB storage device at Synform’s office in Tama, Tokyo.

The man brought the device home and copied the data onto his home computer. Authorities have located the storage device, which contains personal data on a number of children that associated with Benesse, the sources said.

Benesse is the biggest provider of correspondence education for children in Japan.