Japanese man receives entire town's Covid relief funds, disappears with the cash

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey
NEW DELHI Updated: May 16, 2022, 08:03 PM(IST)

A formatting error led the bank to believe that the COVID-19 relief money for 463 homes should be paid to one account first. Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

A man in Japan was given his entire town's COVID-19 relief payments by mistake in April.A formatting issue caused a bank to send $359,000 meant for 463 households to him.He was discovered to have vanished from his home when the town filed a lawsuit against him in May.

A bizarre story of a 24-year-old Japanese guy collecting 46.3 million yen ($358,857) in Covid relief payments was published in Japan Today. That sum was supposed to be distributed among 463 homes in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, as 100,000 yen (almost $774.76) each.

At the time, the mayor had apologised for the clerical error that had resulted in the miscalculation and was allegedly looking into recovering the funds. However, it has just been discovered that the individual who received the large amount of cash by mistake has vanished!

At the time, the mayor had apologised for the clerical error that had resulted in the miscalculation and was allegedly looking into recovering the funds. However, it has just been discovered that the individual who received the large amount of cash by mistake has vanished!

According to JapanToday, the man began shifting quantities of roughly 600,000 yen every day for about two weeks after discovering the windfall payment in his account on April 8, 2022. 

Meanwhile, the Japanese town realised their mistake and set out to find the money. When they discovered where it had gone, they attempted to contact the individual right away but were unsuccessful.

When they finally caught up with him on April 21, 2022, he told them that the money had vanished from his account and that "it could no longer be undone." I'm not going to run. "I shall be held accountable for my wrongdoing."

However, here was the issue. The man had already vanished.

All of this put officials in a tricky legal situation, because they technically gave him the money by mistake, and it wasn't quite theft in the strict meaning of the word. 

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They sought advice from lawyers and law enforcement, and on May 12, 2022, they finally took action by filing a lawsuit against the individual, seeking 51.16 million yen in compensation for the money he took, plus legal fees.

During the time it took the town to file a lawsuit against the 24-year-old, he cleared out his bank account, quit his job, and moved out of his house.

Needless to say, this clerical error has turned into a circus.

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