OSAKA – Prosecutors and tax authorities launched a full-scale investigation Wednesday into Kyoto-based consumer loan company Sanei, which is suspected of evading billions of yen in corporate tax over the past several years.
It is believed to be the largest-ever tax evasion case involving a consumer loan company.
Investigators from the Osaka District Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau raided the company’s head office and the Kyoto home of its president, 59-year-old Hideo Yamamoto, early Wednesday, investigative sources said.
Sanei transfers loans to client bank accounts in as little as 20 minutes of concluding a contract.
It allegedly evaded tax by allocating income to affiliates and extending off-the-book loans, they said.
Prosecutors will analyze the documents seized in Wednesday’s raid before deciding whether a criminal case should be established against several people believed to have played central roles in the suspected tax evasion, they said.
A credit research agency said Sanei is capitalized at 50 million yen and its sales for the business year ending in May 2002 were 270 million yen.