• Kyodo

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A former sales employee at a Daiwa Securities Group Inc. branch here was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of defrauding a client out of 5 million yen, police said.

According to investigators, Toshiko Oshima, 57, may have swindled some 150 customers out of a total 3 billion yen between 1996 and June 2002. She has since repaid 2.1 billion yen.

In December 2001, Oshima allegedly approached a 77-year-old customer residing in Aichi Prefecture and told the woman that she was handling a financial product with particularly high returns that was only being offered to certain clients.

Oshima urged the woman to put her assets in the hands of a securities firm, saying that banks were no longer safe since the government was pulling away full protection of deposits. Police allege Oshima swindled the elderly woman out of 5 million yen.

At the time of the incident, Oshima was chief adviser of her branch’s securities savings section and was in charge of sales. She has admitted to the allegations, police said.

A total of 25 people in Aichi, Gifu and Mie prefectures filed a damages suit at the Nagoya District Court against Daiwa and Oshima in October 2002, demanding a total of some 700 million yen in compensation.

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