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August 26, 2009

Ex-Nova President sentenced to prison

NovaPresident.jpegNozomu Sahashi, the former President of Nova, has been found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to three years and six months in prison. Sahashi built Nova into the largest language school chain in Japan, but the company collapsed in 2007. Towards the end, Sahashi took 320 million yen from an employee's welfare fund and used it to try and deal with Nova's declining financial situation. The court ruled that this made him guilty of embezzlement.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun: 'During his trial Sahashi had admitted to the facts of the case, but said he had not been under the perception that he was forbidden from using the money. Lawyers for Sahashi argued that he was innocent, saying that he had no intention of illegally misappropriating the money, and that his actions did not constitute professional embezzlement.'

This is not the end of the saga. The Mainichi went on to say: 'On Aug. 19, Nova's bankruptcy administrator filed a lawsuit in the Osaka District Court seeking about 2.136 billion yen in damages, saying that Sahashi repeatedly made unnecessary transactions, resulting in losses. It also filed a criminal complaint against Sahashi with the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office, accusing him of aggravated breach of trust.'

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