Woman in fraud case got ¥70 million from man in mysterious death

SAITAMA (Kyodo) A 34-year-old Tokyo woman under arrest for fraud received some ¥70 million from one of four male acquaintances who died mysterious deaths now being probed as foul play, investigative sources said Thursday.

The unidentified man, from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, died in 2007.

Police suspect the woman, a resident of Toshima Ward whose name was also not released, received more than ¥90 million in total from several men she had been dating. At least two later died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

She was arrested for allegedly conning a Nagano Prefecture man in his 50s and a Shizuoka Prefecture man in his 40s into giving her a combined ¥3.3 million after promising to marry them. Earlier reports said she met them via the Internet.

On Feb. 2, male acquaintance Takao Terada, 53, whom the woman had been dating, was found dead lying on his back on a futon in his apartment in Ome, western Tokyo, where he lived alone. He had been dead several days.

Six containers with charcoal briquettes were found in Terada’s four-room apartment, including the kitchen and dining room. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tokyo police initially thought he had taken his life. But because no suicide note was found and since one of the apartment keys was missing, they decided to investigate the possibility of murder.

Terada’s older sister told police she was of the understanding that he planned to marry the woman.

It was reported earlier that police launched an investigation into the death of Yoshiyuki Oide, 41, of Tokyo, whom the woman had also been dating. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning in August.

His body was found early Aug. 6 in a rented car parked in a lot in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture. His corpse turned up evidence of a sedative.

The day before, Oide made an entry on his blog that he planned to go on a three-day trip with his fiancee.

The woman admitted she was with Oide on the night of Aug. 5 in the parking lot. She told police he was still alive when she left and does not know what happened to him.

It was also reported that the woman had worked as a nursing helper and allegedly visited the home of Kenzo Ando, 80, in Noda, Chiba Prefecture. He died May 15 in a fire that gutted his house. A sleeping drug also turned up in his autopsy.