Japanese man receives life sentence for embezzlement in Vietnam

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An appeals court in Ho Chi Minh City Wednesday increased the sentence handed down to a Japanese man to life in prison for embezzling over US$6.6 million from a foreign company where he worked, VnExpress reported.

Nishimura Setsuo, 58, former financial and personnel director of Japanese-owned Sanyo Di Solutions Vietnam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the first hearing held in the southern province of Dong Nai last year end.

At the appeal hearing held by the People's Supreme Court in HCMC, the board of judges said they increased his jail term because he failed to repay the money he stole, and because the previous sentence had not been harsh enough.

According to the indictment, Nishimura was appointed to the position within the firm based in Dong Nai at the end of 2004.

In May 2005, he began dating a Vietnamese woman referred only as Nhan.

Nhan told him that she needed money to start her own hotel and restaurant business, motivating the Japanese man to misappropriate a total of VND132 billion and over $460,000 from the company on 28 occasions between July 2008 and April 2004.

He also stole more than $66,000 from the company's safe to give to Nhan.

According to the news report, Nishimura told police that he gave all the money he embezzled to Nhan. However, the woman said she received only VND30 billion from him for shopping and gambling, and that she had returned nearly half of it to him.

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