Japanese Educational Institution Operators Charged with Misappropriating Managed Funds to Buy Cryptocurrency


The Japanese educational institution Meijo Gakuin Educational Corporation will file a criminal complaint for embezzlement against the company’s former chairwoman and other associated individuals on suspicions that operating funds for the private university Osaka University of Tourism, which is also managed by the company, had been misappropriated to invest in cryptocurrency.


According to Meijo Gakuin, former chairwoman Mieko Ohashi, former board members and other associated individuals are alleged to have used ¥100 million (approximately $926,000) worth of the company’s funds to invest in cryptocurrency in 2018 without passage of a resolution at the board of directors. Ohashi resigned in June 2019 after some several hundred-thousand yen worth of the cryptocurrency drastically dropped in value and the former chairwoman’s investment in the cryptocurrency without consulting the company’s board was viewed as problematic. The results of an investigation into the incident by a third-party panel are expected to be publicly released by Meijo Gakuin soon.


The corporation had been issued a subsidy in 2018 from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to be used by institutions of higher education for current expenditures, totaling approximately 130 million yen. The Ministry is currently requesting an explanation on the status of subsidy funds.


Meijo Gakuin has continued to operate in a state of disorder since 2015, with leadership changing hands multiple times as a result of requesting financial support in line with deterioration of business for the Osaka University of Tourism.


*This article was written by FISCO.