Nova ex-president Sahashi says he was solely responsible for embezzlement

Disgraced former Nova Corp. President Nozomu Sahashi has admitted that he was solely responsible for misappropriating money from the coffers of an employees’ welfare fund, police sources said.

Sahashi, 56, who was arrested for embezzlement in the conduct of business after he was found to have misappropriated about 320 million yen pooled in a Nova employees’ mutual aid fund, had initially denied part of the allegations. However, he later told police, “I instructed everything,” admitting to the charges.

Osaka Prefectural Police also found that Sahashi was keeping track once a month of the remaining amount of money in the account of Shayukai — the mutual aid society of Nova employees — by having the amount reported to him. Police will further question Sahashi over the case, suspecting that he misused the money pooled in the Nova employees’ welfare fund for his own use.

In July last year, Sahashi allegedly transferred about 320 million yen from the Shayukai account into an account of Nova Kikaku, an affiliate of Nova. The money was later transferred to a Nova account. Investigators suspect that Sahashi attempted to launder money by transferring the funds.

In a related development, investigators suspect that Sahashi had also previously misappropriated money from the employees’ fund. In around 2005, he used about 10 million yen from the fund for the medical treatment of a Nova board member who was hospitalized at the time, as well as a total of several millions of yen for a year-end party and other expenses, police said.