Prosecutors on Tuesday arrested two business consultants and an accountant on suspicion of illegally advising clients on how to evade taxes, as well as one of their clients on suspicion of evading over 250 million yen in corporate tax.

The three suspected of assisting tax evasion are Terutsugu Suzuki, 49, a former auditor at Tokyo-based consulting company Neo Guild; Shinichiro Kinoshita, 45, a former president of the company; and Naoharu Shirai, 50, an employee of an accounting company, the prosecutors said.

Also arrested by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office was Eiji Yamada, 38, president of three entertainment production companies. The three companies include Tokyo-based AG Communication, which manages popular singer Ami Suzuki.

According to the prosecutors, the four men conspired to conceal a total of 685 million yen in income the three entertainment production companies earned over two years up to 1999, resulting in the failure to pay 255 million yen in corporate tax.

Neo Guild allegedly issued receipts for nonexistent consulting contracts so Yamada could use them to pad corporate expense accounts.

In February, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau filed complaints with prosecutors against six people, including the four suspects, on suspicion of tax evasion.

In 1997 and 1998, Neo Guild received more than 800 million yen in fees for showing some 30 companies and individuals in Tokyo, Osaka and some other prefectures how to dodge taxes, investigative sources said.

Roughly 1.5 billion yen in corporate or personal income was concealed by Neo Guild and its clients, resulting in the failure to pay 500 million yen in taxes, the sources said.