• Kyodo News


The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld the fraud conviction of the former head of a Tokyo-based condominium developer who bilked clients out of about ¥400 million by selling them units whose earthquake-resistance data were fabricated.

Presiding Judge Hiroshi Kadono turned down appeals from both prosecutors and the defendant, Susumu Ojima, 55, former president of now-defunct condo developer Huser Ltd.

Kadono upheld a lower court decision that sentenced Ojima to three years in prison, suspended for five years.

The Tokyo District Court convicted Ojima last March of defrauding 11 buyers of condominiums in a complex in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, of a total of ¥414 million in October 2005 by selling them the units while knowing the building’s quake-resistance data were fabricated and its safety unconfirmed.

Disgraced architect Hidetsugu Aneha, 51, has already been convicted of fabricating structural data for a number of buildings, including the Grand Stage Fujisawa complex in question.

Prosecutors slapped criminal charges on six people over fabricated quake-resistance data for buildings, mainly condos and hotels, that first surfaced in November 2005.

Of the six, only Ojima’s trial was still pending. Aneha is currently serving a five-year prison term, while the remaining four were given suspended sentences.

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