Tokyo police on Sunday sent Hiroo Mizushima, former chairman of the failed Sogo Co. department store chain, to prosecutors on suspicion of concealing personal assets to avoid court-ordered seizure by creditors.

According to investigators, Mizushima, 89, withdrew 55 million yen in deposits from a bank near his home in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, just two days after the Sogo group filed for protection from creditors on July 12 last year.

On July 25 the same year, he also canceled an investment fund contract, for which he received 101 million yen in cash, said investigators.

Police believe Mizushima conducted both transactions so the assets would not be seized by Sogo’s creditors, a claim he categorically denies.

Mizushima was arrested on Friday at a Tokyo hospital, where he has been since Wednesday after complaining of chest pain linked to angina.

Mizushima, a former official of the Industrial Bank of Japan, now part of Mizuho Holdings Inc., presided over Sogo for 38 years as president and later board chairman before stepping down in April 2000 at the height of Sogo’s crisis.

Sogo is being rehabilitated under the wing of Seibu Department Stores Ltd.

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