• Kyodo


The Nara District Court sentenced a couple to suspended prison terms Thursday for attempting to deceive two life-insurance companies into paying them 100 million yen four years ago.

Tomiyasu Tsujii, 56, an unemployed man from Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, suspended for four years, while his Filipino wife, Juliet, a 38-year-old restaurant owner, received two years in prison, suspended for four years.

They went to the Philippines in August 2000 and forged a traffic accident certificate and a death certificate, indicating that Tsujii had been hit by a car and killed, the court said.

The following month, they submitted a death notification to Yamatokoriyama City Hall to remove Tsujii’s name from his family register, which the couple then sent to the two insurance companies to claim 100 million yen for his death.

In handing down the sentences, presiding Judge Tetsuya Okuda described the crime as “bold and clever.”

But since the couple did not receive any money from the insurance companies, which realized the documents were fake, the judge suspended their sentences.

Tsujii played the leading role in the fraud, according to the court.

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