OSAKA — Prosecutors demanded a 15-year prison term July 7 for a female restaurateur over 274 billion yen in business crimes involving the now-defunct Toyo Shinkin Bank and other financial institutions during the bubble economy of the early 1990s.
Osaka restaurateur Nui Onoue, 67, is accused of breach of trust involving 95 billion yen and swindling 179 billion yen from financial institutions. In the session, held at the Osaka District Court, prosecutors said Onoue conspired with a Toyo Shinkin branch manager in 1990 and 1991 to falsify savings account certificates to indicate she had 416 billion yen deposited at the bank. She then allegedly defrauded the Industrial Bank of Japan out of 172.5 billion yen in stocks and discount bank debentures.
Onoue had been borrowing from IBJ at the time, and she exchanged the bogus certificates for stocks and discount bank debentures she had already put up as collateral, they alleged. In 1987, prosecutors said, Onoue conspired with a Kizu Shinkin Bank branch manager at the time to falsify 5 billion yen in savings account certificates and swindled various nonbank financial institutions out of 6.5 billion yen. Kizu Shinkin also reported 5 billion yen in losses.
The defendant caused two nonbanks that had tendered loans to her 90 billion yen in losses by reclaiming her collateral without permission in 1990 and 1991, the prosecutors alleged. Onoue has denied the charges.
Four former officials of financial institutions have been indicted in connection with the case, which is considered symbolic of Japan’s bubble days. They were all found guilty. A prosecutor said at the court session July 7 that “the defendant’s crime was premeditated and vicious, because it forced a bank to go under and caused an outrageous amount of damage.” He demanded she be sentenced to 15 years. Toyo Shinkin Bank was left with a massive amount of debt, and in September 1992 it was merged into another financial institution. Kizu Shinkin Bank went under in August 1995.
Onoue’s Japanese-style restaurant in Osaka is closed and she has no buyers. She has been released on bail.