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Two unregistered securities firms in Tokyo have gone under after selling unlisted shares for about ¥20 billion to several thousand investors nationwide since 2003, lawyers and former employees of the brokerage houses said Saturday.

Some investors are consulting with the Hiroshima prefectural police and other authorities, suspecting that the two firms violated the financial instruments and exchange law, the investors’ lawyers said.

The two firms and their affiliates solicited purchases of unlisted shares in various venture companies over the phone, saying the shares would be listed and their prices would go up in the future, the lawyers and former employees said.

Those who purchased the shares suffered massive losses because none of the stocks were listed, they said.

The two securities firms were established in 2003 by the same person and headquartered in the same building in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, with branch offices located in Sendai, Osaka and Fukuoka, the lawyers and former employees said.

One of the companies continued operations until around 2006 but can no longer be found in the building where its headquarters is registered, while the other one has been undergoing bankruptcy procedures since May.

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