National / Crime & Legal

Ex-exec of Japanese supercomputer venture gets suspended prison term

Kyodo

The Tokyo District Court on Thursday issued a suspended prison term to a former executive of a venture company for fraud involving around ¥653 million ($5.8 million) in government subsidies related to the company’s supercomputer development project.

Daisuke Suzuki, 48, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for four years. The court concluded that Suzuki had colluded with Motoaki Saito, the company’s former president, who is also on trial in the fraud case.

Their company, Pezy Computing, is noteworthy for being part of the team that developed the Gyoukou supercomputer, which was ranked as the world’s fourth-fastest in November.

“The case has undermined social confidence in the public system aimed at supporting industrial development,” Judge Shinichiro Nakajima said in the ruling. “The sum involved in the fraud is huge and the conduct was highly malicious.”

But the judge acknowledged that Suzuki had not played a leading role in the crime and that Saito was the one who issued instructions to pad development costs to deceive a government-run industrial technology organization into paying about ¥653 million in subsidies in March and April 2014.

According to the ruling, Suzuki and Saito colluded in submitting a false report, including inflated development expenses, to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

Business costs were padded through false bills and delivery slips involving business partners and affiliates that did not exist, it said.