The chief of the Juntendo University medical department misappropriated around 60 million yen in government subsidies over the five-year period to 1999, sources close to tax authorities alleged Tuesday.
The sources said Ko Okumura, widely known as the world’s leading immunologist, admitted the irregularities and recently filed fresh tax returns with the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau.
It is believed the bureau imposed some 30 million yen in penalties on the 58-year-old professor.
According to the sources, the tax authorities discovered the misappropriation while investigating Okumura’s use of some 200 million yen in state subsidies during the five-year period.
The tax office found that some 140 million yen of the amount was necessary for research expenses, leading it to believe that he embezzled the remaining 60 million yen, they said.
Okumura received subsidies from the Education and Health and Welfare ministries after submitting invoices issued by a medical equipment company that suspended operations.
The professor also illegally received extra funds from the Tokyo-based university by padding the number of assistants he hired. The subsidies were used to entertain members of his research team and procure costly equipment.
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