Police on Tuesday questioned Susumu Ojima, president of failed condominium developer Huser Ltd., on a voluntary basis about suspicions the firm sold units in a condominium building in Kanagawa Prefecture despite being aware it was built using fabricated quake-resistance data, investigative sources said.
It is the first time the police have interviewed Ojima, 52, since the data fabrication scandal surrounding disgraced architect Hidetsugu Aneha made headlines in November. Aneha has since been stripped of his license.
The police aim to establish a criminal case against Ojima as early as May on a charge of fraud and violating the Building Lots and Building Transaction Business Act, the sources said.
The police are believed to have asked Ojima when he became aware that earthquake data had been fabricated for Huser-developed condos and for details about the company’s sales involving the Grand Stage Fujisawa condo complex in Kanagawa Prefecture.
According to investigative sources, eHomes Inc., a government-designated building inspection agency, told Tokyo-based Huser on Oct. 25 that Aneha, 48, may have fabricated the quake-resistance data used to build some of Huser’s condos.
Ojima, Aneha and other officials gathered Oct. 27 to discuss how to deal with the scandal. Huser handed over 17 units of Grand Stage Fujisawa to buyers the next day, the sources said.
Ojima’s company concluded a sales contract with a customer for one unit in the Fujisawa condo Oct. 26, the sources said, noting the police believe the acts constitute fraud and violation of the law.
The Fujisawa condo was among 20 Huser-developed buildings whose quake-resistance codes fell short of government criteria in Tokyo and Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures. Aneha has told the Diet that the first condo complex he fabricated data for was one developed by Huser.
Ojima has said that he did not see any illegality in selling the condos, and that his firm proceeded to build the structures because it trusted the seal of approval given by the government-designated inspection entities.
The Tokyo District Court has been carrying out bankruptcy procedures for Huser and Ojima since mid-February.