FBI Interviewed Former Chairman of Sekisui House on possible money laundering by MUFG
April 3, 2020
Weekly Economist Online
Weekly Economist Interviewed Mr. Wada, former Chairman of Sekisui House.
Mr. Isami Wada, former Chairman of Sekisui House
The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the U.S. interviewed on March 19, 2020 Mr. Isami Wada, former Chairman of Sekisui House, in regards to the possible money laundering associated with the Sekisui House land fraud incident. It was on MUFG Bank which accommodated the land transaction settlement.
The FBI is conducting an investigation into the bank’s issuance of deposit checks, its cashing, its large purchase of Sekisui House shares, and its relationship with Sekisui House executives.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of the U.S. agreed with the bank in February 2019 that the bank will improve its internal control system at the bank’s U.S. branch offices to prevent money laundering. Therefore the FBI was closely monitoring the bank, and seemed to have initiated its investigation sensing that there are another indicia of money laundering.
Mr. Wada had a one-hour phone interview with the FBI on March 19, 2020 and we asked him about how it was.
What did the FBI ask?
Wada: The FBI appeared to have felt suspicious about MUFG Bank’s land deal settlement and its recent large purchase of Sekisui House shares. They asked me questions about the bank’s relationship with Mr. Shiro Inagaki, Vice Chairman and CFO of Sekisui House.
What did the FBI feel suspicious about specifically?
Wada: Their issuance of large amount deposit checks in Sekisui House’s payment to the swindlers. The deposit checks were deposited with a shell company account at the bank’s branch in Tokyo, and the FBI said that they felt suspicious about the bank having cashed the checks immediately. They were saying that it appeared like money laundering.
They were wondering why Sekisui House has not sued the swindlers for their damages. The FBI also asked with whom at the bank Mr. Inagaki is close to.
Did the FBI say anything about what they are going to do?
Wada: They said they will contact and interview MUFG. They wanted to interview me first since I have a good idea about the land fraud incident. The FBI clearly read the investigation report on the incident produced by outside directors, and they seemed to want to check with me if the investigation report agrees with what I had to say.