No prison for ex-JSF executives

Kyodo News

The Tokyo District Court gave suspended prison terms Tuesday to two former top executives of the Japan Skating Federation for accounting fraud from 2002 to 2004.

Former Japan Skating Federation President Katsuichiro Hisanaga, 75, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, while Mitsuo Matsumoto, 70, a former managing director of the federation, was given two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Presiding Judge Masaya Kawamoto said in the decision that the defendants “confused their official business with their private affairs and repeatedly conducted immoral acts in a betrayal of athletes’ trust.”

The three-judge court found that Hisanaga, in conspiracy with Matsumoto, caused the federation a 19.4 million yen loss from April 2002 to March 2004 for padding expenses in deals with travel agencies in breach of trust.

Matsumoto also inflicted a 4.3 million yen loss on the federation in a similar manner after Hisanaga quit his post in June 2004.

In addition, Hisanaga embezzled about 3.9 million yen from July to November 2002 from the federation’s reserve funds for staging the International Figure Skating Competition NHK Trophy. Hisanaga used the money for his own futures transactions, the ruling said.

Prosecutors had sought imprisonment of three years for Hisanaga and two years for Matsumoto.

Hisanaga and Matsumoto were arrested in October 2006.