Students sue Nova to get tuition back

OSAKA (Kyodo) A lawsuit was filed Friday by 24 former students of the failed language school chain Nova Corp., demanding that former management and two audit companies pay a combined ¥16 million in compensation to cover prepaid tuition.

It was the first time former Nova students have filed a joint suit since the company went bankrupt last year, lawyers for the plaintiffs said after the filing with the Osaka District Court.

They claimed former President Nozomu Sahashi and other Nova management led the company to bankruptcy after employing illicit accounting procedures and business practices to expand its operations. Sahashi, 57, was charged in July with embezzlement.

“We would like to help former students by pressing charges against Nova over its reckless business practices,” lawyer Takanori Ozaki said at a news conference.

The plaintiffs — including students and company employees in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Ehime and Miyazaki prefectures — also accused the audit firms of allowing Nova management to continue such unlawful practices, according to the complaint.

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