• Kyodo


The former manager of rock star Eikichi Yazawa was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for defrauding the singer out of 27 million Australian dollars (around 1.97 billion yen), court officials said.

The Brisbane District Court sentenced 53-year-old Hiromi Kawada, a former professional tennis player, over 29 fraud charges to which he had pleaded guilty, a court registrar said.

Parole was recommended after three years and four months, according to the registrar.

Kawada’s colleague, Harunobu Fukusato, from Saitama Prefecture, was sentenced to four years imprisonment last month over his involvement in failed property investments in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The pair had tried to hide these investments from Yazawa.

Fukusato, who is 66 and suffers from health problems, is due to be released after serving one year.

The two tried to blame each other for the offenses.

Fukusato told the court through an interpreter that Kawada had promised Fukusato he would obtain money from former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos to cover their mounting business losses.

Kawada later said that he met the Marcos family in Hawaii through his tennis connections.

“I just contacted her through her secretary but there was no response to that,” he told the court.

Kawada said that, although he forged documents to cover up the failed investments, he was only doing what he had been told to do by Fukusato.

Kawada said he did not have the nerve to tell Yazawa he had lost his money.

“He is a rock star, no friends around him, only people taking advantage of him,” Kawada said.

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