Eikaiwa NOVA embezzler and former boss Saruhashi gets his: 3.5 years


Hi Blog.  Sorry to be so late in reporting this, but some good news a couple of weeks ago:  Eikaiwa NOVA embezzler and former boss Saruhashi gets his:  sentenced to 3.5 years in the clink.  No word if the employees are going to get their money back, however.

More background details on this case here (plug in the word “sahashi”) into search engine.  More on Debito.org here.

Arudou Debito in Nagoya


Nova boss handed 3 1/2 years
Staff writer
The Japan Times Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009

OSAKA — Former Nova President Nozomu Sahashi was sentenced Wednesday to 3 1/2 years in prison by the Osaka District Court for his role in skimming off employee funds in 2007, just before the foreign language school giant’s bankruptcy that October.

Presiding Judge Hiroaki Higuchi’s severe sentence took some in the courtroom by surprise. Prosecutors had sought five years for the former president of what was once the country’s largest foreign language school chain and employer of foreign nationals. Sahashi is expected to appeal the sentence.

Sahashi was charged with funneling nearly ¥320 million from employee benefit funds to a bank account belonging to a Nova affiliate in July 2007. He denied embezzling the funds, telling the court he used the money on behalf of his employees.

He tried to portray himself as only one of a group of senior Nova executives responsible for the decision. But the judge said that given the amount of money and his authority, Sahashi bore a heavy responsibility for the crime.

Rest of the article at


13 comments on “Eikaiwa NOVA embezzler and former boss Saruhashi gets his: 3.5 years

  • 3 and 1/2 years for stealing 320 million yen seems like a good deal (for Saruhashi), too lenient, taking in consideration that he haven’t give back the money and compensate the workers and the cynism that he displayed through the process.

  • 3 1/2? Seems kinda light, don’t you think? Is there some kind of “maximum penalty” law that applies to these white collar crimes?

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    320 million yen. Roughly 3.3 million dollars. One hundred years of salary for a typical employee at his company. And all he gets is 3 1/2 years in prison, without having to return the money!?

  • if it were one of us NJ I bet sentence would be life or 25 years in order to pay all money back or plus pay back.
    As Japanese with a lot of cash even stolen you don`t need worry after 3.5 years in prison. When he is out, he will go to pick up his millions and get out of country free.

  • Perhaps it is a fairly light sentence but it is A sentence. The important thing is that he was found guilty and he has finally been (offically) exposed as the two bit shister that he is. The fallout from this is that no one in their right mind will touch him or anything related to him ever again with a ten foot pole. He might have actually been better off with a longer sentence so people well and truly forgot about him. 3 and a half (if indeed it is even that long) is a short enough time for people to recall what he did.

  • I agree with AWK 100 percent, based on the criminal court systems track record in japan regarding japanese and NJ sentencing guidelines and penalty/punishment, its called illegal bias and double standards and it need to be fixed.

  • I guess I’m cynical but I bet if Saruhashi were NJ he wouldn’t have even been out on bail before he was convicted. I just don’t get how they let convicted (J) people out on bail when they appeal their convictions.

  • yes i also agree with Behan, because as we already know for some unknown reason NJ are not allowed bail in Japan. but i think this is a concern of amnesty international and not this blog. anyways good comment Behan

  • Ah the joy of being out on bail. Saruhashi is now dealing with extralegal powers…

    Yakuza nabbed for confining disgraced ex-president of NOVA in hotel room
    (Mainichi Japan) September 29, 2009

    Several men including a yakuza member have been arrested for confining the former president of failed English conversation school Nova for several days in a hotel room, police said.

    The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested several men on Monday, including a member from a gang related to the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate, on suspicion of confining former Nova President Nozomu Sahashi, 58, in a hotel room in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward.

    Investigators said that police received a report from Sahashi’s acquaintances, saying that they had lost contact with him after he arrived in Tokyo on Sept. 25.

    Following an investigation, police raided the hotel room at around 3 p.m. on Monday, where they rescued Sahashi and arrested several men, including a gang member. Sahashi suffered no injuries.

    The suspects have reportedly denied the allegations, saying they were “just staying with Sahashi.”

    The MPD has launched a search for several other people who are believed to have been involved in the case, while questioning the suspects.

    In August this year, Sahashi was found guilty of embezzling about 320 million yen from his company’s welfare fund and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the Osaka District Court. He has already filed an appeal against the ruling.

    NOVA元社長:監禁容疑で山口組系組員らを逮捕 警視庁
    毎日新聞 2009年9月29日 2時30分(最終更新 9月29日 9時11分)





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