• Kyodo

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An Aomori housing corporation has withdrawn its request to have a Chilean court seize the property of the Chilean wife of a former employee who embezzled 1.46 billion yen from the firm.

Aomori Prefectural Housing Supply Public Corp. had asked the court to provisionally seize the real estate owned by relatives of Yuji Chida’s wife, Anita Ester Alvarado Munoz, officials of the firm said Wednesday.

Chida, 46, gave most of the money he embezzled from his former employer to Alvarado, who then used it to buy the property, the firm said. Chida has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

But after determining that it would be difficult to prove that the money had actually been used to purchase the property, the firm decided to withdraw its request.

It told Kyodo News that it has not given up on trying to recover the money from Alvarado, however, and has ordered its Chilean lawyer to reduce the items in the litigation it has filed against Alvarado.

The corporation has spent about 75 million yen in legal fees in Chile and Japan to recover 78 million yen from the couple.

Alvarado reportedly spent the money building a restaurant, a bar, private hospitals and a luxurious residence, which was seized in August 2002.

Tax officials in Sendai uncovered Chida’s embezzlement in October 2001 and he was arrested two months later in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. He was found guilty last December.

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