The former head of a Kankaku Securities Co. branch was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of defrauding a client of about 54 million yen, Metropolitan Police Department sources said.

Masatoshi Takeda, 46, who was chief at the brokerage’s Koganei branch in western Tokyo, is suspected of swindling a 74-year-old Koganei woman on 14 occasions between May and November 1996, police said.

Takeda persuaded the client to sell stocks and cancel corporate bonds she held and falsely told her he was managing her funds by buying other profitable financial products, police said.

He is believed to have spent the money on entertainment and gambling, as well as to repay debts to other clients, they said. Takeda is also under suspicion of defrauding 20 clients of 780 million yen between 1993 and August 1997. The suspected actual damage caused by Takeda to the securities company and its customers is estimated at 300 million yen, police said.

Takeda joined Kankaku Securities in 1970, and was assigned to the company’s head office in Tokyo last year after serving as chief of its Shibuya, Koganei and Umeda branches.

Kankaku Securities has reported pretax losses for six straight years through the period ending March 1997. It is in the process of managerial reorganization, including personnel cutbacks, with the support of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, its main bank.

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