A Japanese man is reportedly in hot water with law enforcement for gambling away Covid-19 relief funds that were earmarked for his entire town.
According to reporting from NBC, a 24-year-old man received $360,000 worth of funds due to a clerical error. The funds were wired into his bank account last month.
Recently, authorities discovered the mistake and learned that he gambled away the money via online casino games.
The man, Sho Taguchi, was arrested Thursday by local police in the western Japan town of Abu. The money was earmarked for more than 460 low-income households in Abu. NBC reported that about 3,300 people were supposed to receive $780.
Taguchi was one of the people on the list.
Taguchi’s lawyer reportedly said that “all the money transferred was used up at overseas online casinos,” adding that his client is remorseful and will try to repay the money.
The story is reportedly a major scandal in Japan.
A man who mistakenly received ¥46.3 million in COVID-19 relief money from his town in Japan before gambling it all away says he wants to pay it back “little by little.” https://t.co/zdaZrWkuiz
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) May 20, 2022