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Tokyo doctor arrested on suspicion of defrauding patients over fake STD diagnoses

Suspect Michinari Hayashi is taken into Yotsuya Police Station in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Jan. 17, 2017. (Mainichi)

The head doctor at a clinic in Tokyo has been arrested on suspicion of falsely diagnosing patients with sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as fraudulently taking money intended for medication from his patients.

    The 69-year-old doctor, Michinari Hayashi -- who is the director of the "Shinjuku Central Clinic" in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward -- was arrested by a Metropolitan Police Department investigation division on Jan. 17, following allegations that Hayashi has been repeating his fraudulent activities since around 2010.

    Hayashi was specifically arrested on suspicion of falsely diagnosing a 68-year-old male company executive from Tokyo's Kokubunji city -- who visited the clinic as a patient between mid-September and mid-December 2012 -- as having chlamydia, following a blood test. After the false diagnosis, Hayashi allegedly prescribed medication for the man about a dozen times and charged him approximately 26,000 yen for treatment.

    Typically, chlamydia is diagnosed if the number of antibodies in a blood sample is found to exceed the normal range. Hayashi is believed to have sent the blood samples to a private testing agency, but then wrote down false values for the normal range on the result sheets. Subsequently, he would show the falsified sheets to his patients and tell them that they were infected with chlamydia.

    Six patients, including the 68-year-old executive, have sued Hayashi over alleged fraud between 2013 and 2015 with the Tokyo District Court in which the patients are demanding compensation.

    Of these six patients, it has been decided at the Supreme Court that two patients will receive payments of approximately 490,000 yen and 250,000 yen, respectively, to cover lost medical fees as well as emotional distress.

    It has been learned that Hayashi's home was brought up for auction in 2009, and investigators suspect that he turned to fraud after facing financial problems.

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