Japanese ex-manager gets 20 years for embezzlement

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A court in the southern province of Dong Nai on Tuesday (December 18) sentenced the former manager of a foreign-invested company, a Japanese national, to 20 years in jail for embezzling millions of dollars.

Nishimura Setsuo, 57, who used to be the financial and personnel director of Sanyo Di Solutions Vietnam in Dong Nai's Bien Hoa Town, was also ordered to pay back the money he had embezzled, which amounts to more than US$6.9 million.

He had abused his trust to misappropriate $540,000 and VND132.5 billion ($6.4 million) between July 2008 and April 2009, the indictment said.

The money, which was taken from the company's bank accounts and strongbox, were used by Setsuo to spend on himself and his mistress Duong Thi Thanh Nhan, a waitress at a Ho Chi Minh City bar.

Nhan, 30, used the money to start her own hotel and restaurant business and to gamble in Macau.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported that Setsuo had admitted to his crime, adding that he knew it was against the law and harmful the company. He said he did it since he did not want to break up with his lover.

Setsuo said he gave most of the stolen money to Nhan, but she said she only got a small part of it, the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported Tuesday. 

Nhan and other people involved in the case, including her sister Duong Thi Ngoc Thanh and her employees Duong Hoai Tan and Do Minh Truong, will be investigated further for using money obtained from Setsuo, the court said.

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According to a Tien Phong report in 2009, Tan and Truong collected the money stolen by Setsuo and paid off Nhan's gambling debts. Thanh received $900,000 from Nhan to deposit at a local bank, the report said.

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