The Yomiuri Shimbun has a story on how former Nova president Nozomu Sahashi as stealing from his employees.
Says the Yomiuri:
About 300 million yen contributed by employees of the bankrupt language school chain Nova Corp. to a staff welfare fund was transferred to a company bank account in July to cover operating costs and done without the approval of employees, the police have said.
According to the police, former Nova president Nozomu Sahashi ordered the transfer of the entire balance of the fund to a Nova business account to allow the payment of refunds to students who had canceled contracts with the financially troubled firm.
Held in a bank account, the fund was managed by an employee in Nova's accounting division. The fund was rarely used and had an accumulated a balance of 300 million yen.
Given all that has happened, this isn't much of a surprise. We know that Sahashi was absolutely desperate for cash after METI sanctioned Nova last June. In fact, this may be old news. Back in November, I posted a translation from the Chugoku Shimbun about money from an employee fund ending up in Sahashi's pockets:
It was learned that money collected from employees for a fund called shayuuhi was diverted to run the company by English conversation school operator Nova. According to a former executive, "It's possible that some money went into former president Nozomu Sahashi's slush fund."
According to an official, Y2,000 a month was deducted from employee's salaries to be used as an offering in times of gratitude and sympathy. Virtually all of the Japanese staff paid into it, with more than 2,000 members contributing to the fund at the end of March. In April 2004, the deduction was reportedly raised to Y2,000 from Y1,500 with no explanation given.
The former executive alleges that money from the fund had long been diverted as operating capital and there were even directors who were unaware of how the money was spent. He added that the money may have been used by Sahashi for entertainment expenses.
Have the police finally connected the dots on Sahashi's shady antics? If they ever find him, it's almost certain he'll end up in jail.