• Kyodo News

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Michi Takehisa, who made headlines in the early 1980s as one of the key people involved in a massive embezzlement scandal affecting the Mitsukoshi Ltd. department store chain, died Friday at a Tokyo hospital. She was 79.

Takehisa, whose real name was Michiko Kojima, was hospitalized earlier this year to treat an aneurysm but died without recovering, sources said. Close relatives held a funeral for her Monday in Tokyo.

In 1997, the Supreme Court upheld Takehisa’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence and ¥60 million fine for aggravated breach of trust by causing ¥1.57 billion in damages to Mitsukoshi in conspiracy with former Mitsukoshi President Shigeru Okada.

Okada died while appealing his high court-imposed sentence to the top court. The charges against him were dropped because of his death.

Okada and Takehisa conspired to embezzle money from Mitsukoshi in the form of illegal commission payments to Takehisa’s accessories import shop, the top court said.

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