Ex-Nova boss Sahashi facing embezzlement probe

Police are poised to begin an investigation into former Nova Corp. President Nozomu Sahashi upon suspicion of embezzlement, sources said.

Sahashi used a mutual aid society for Nova employees to transfer about 320 million yen from the employees’ welfare fund into a Nova account in July last year.

Nova was on the brink of collapse at the time and it is believed that the money was used to refund students who canceled their contracts with the English conversation school chain before they had expired, and without the knowledge of employees.

In July last year, the bank account of the employees’ aid society had a balance of about 320 million yen. In the middle of the month, that money was transferred to Nova Kikaku, a Nova affiliate also headed by Sahashi. Later the same day, the money was transferred from the Nova Kikaku account to an account in the parent company’s name. Money from the Nova account was used to refund students who had cancelled their contracts.

Police said they believe Sahashi ordered the company’s accountant at the time to move the money around.