Saitama Police's Investigations Division and the Asaka Police arrested forty-five-year-old Yoshimitsu Honda on suspicion of fraud.
According to police reports, Honda was introduced to Tomoaki Kanemoto by a common acquaintance in 2000 and became close enough to the point where they were dining together fairly frequently. At one point, Honda told Kanemoto he had an idea to grow an agriculture business, but needed funds to get started.
Kanemoto wired 5.5M yen into Honda's account in December 2008 (funds to expand the business). That was followed by another 6.2M in January 2009 (funds to help purchase farm land), and 7.1M yen in February 2009 (funds to purchase various farming equipment).
Honda did start an agricultural business in May 2009, but it was not involved in farm land purchases or creating produce. He has reportedly told police that he said nothing to make ill-use of the agricultural business.
UPDATE 11/21 @ 1:45am - Honda was re-arrested on Monday under suspicion of taking additional money Kanemoto. According to the reports, he managed to trick the former Hanshin Tiger into paying him around 98M yen spread over seven installments between July and December of 2006. Source: Sponichi 11/20/2012
UPDATE 3/10/2013 @ 9:38pm - Honda admitted at a hearing on Friday that he received over 500 million yen in funding from Kanemoto. He also said that he was not planning to commit fraud -- they never talked about specifics on how the money would be used and most of the money was used to pay for business entertainment. Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013
UPDATE 5/13/2013 @ 10:25pm - Kanemoto was called to the stand as a witness today and testified that he wired close to 800 million yen into Honda's bank account between 2004 and 2009. Of that amount, only eight million was returned.
"I treated Honda like he was a part of my family. I thought everything would be ok no matter what happened. ... I think I was stupid. ... I was attracted to his offers because it would be money I could earn after retirement. I also thought it might be a good place for others to find work after retirement. ... I thought he was a great friend, but he trampled all over that. I want to see him punished to the full extent," said Kanemoto.
According to the indictment, Honda received a total 116.8 million yen spreed spread over ten payments between 2006 and 2009.
Source: Sponichi 5/31/2013
UPDATE 9/7/2013 @ 2:10pm - The closing arguments were made at the Saitama District Court on Friday. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year sentence. The final ruling will be issued on October 28.
Source: Sponichi 9/7/2013
UPDATE 10/29/2013 @ 4:10am - The court handed Honda an eight-year sentence. According to the court, Honda swindled a total 116.8 million yen from Kanemoto between 2006 and 2009 (ten payments).
Source: Sponichi 10/28/2013
UPDATE 11/8/2013 @ 9:30pm - Honda filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Japan because he was not satisfied with the ruling made by the Saitama District Court.
Source: Sponichi 11/8/2013