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The Tokyo District Court on Thursday sentenced a deputy manager of the Sakura Bank branch in Tsunashima, Yokohama, to seven years in prison for defrauding clients out of about 1.85 billion yen by fabricating lucrative investment programs.

Koji Okuyama, 43, collaborated with Makoto Yoshii, president of a real estate firm, the court ruled. Yoshii was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. The two men, in collaboration with Shuzo Shiono, 42, president of a construction design company, defrauded Sakura Bank clients and others out of 1.85 billion yen on four occasions from April to July 1996 by leading them to believe that their money was being invested in no-risk programs, the court found.

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