National

Mugen guilty of tax evasion

Kyodo News

had little awareness that (his company) had to pay taxes,” Tanaka said, dismissing the acquittal issued by the Saitama District Court in May. “His motive was to secure funds for inheritance tax that he would have to pay in the future.”

The high court ruled that Hirokawa, 64, took the lead in the tax evasion connected to the building of a memorial hall for the late Honda. Honda was “not directly involved” in the irregularities, Tanaka said.

The high court, however, upheld the Saitama ruling that found Mugen guilty and ordered the company to pay a fine of ¥240 million.

Honda said he was “strongly angered” by the ruling because it overturned the lower court acquittal with “extremely insufficient deliberations.”

In May, the Saitama court dismissed the prosecutors’ assertion that Honda conspired with Hirokawa, who had been sentenced earlier to three years in prison in connection with the tax evasion.

At the district court, the prosecutors demanded four years in prison for Honda and a ¥300 million fine for the company.

Honda and Hirokawa were indicted in 2003 for conspiring to conceal around ¥2.84 billion of Mugen’s income in the three years through October 2000, and of evading about ¥1 billion in corporate tax.

Prosecutors argued the defendants transferred the money to a company called MG Estate under the guise of payments for business transactions.