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Supercomputer firm head accused of fraud to be served 3rd arrest warrant for tax evasion

This Oct. 3, 2016 file photo shows PEZY Computing President Motoaki Saito in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

The president of a venture company that develops supercomputers is set to be served a third arrest warrant for alleged corporate tax evasion, it has emerged.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is expected to serve yet another arrest warrant on Motoaki Saito, 50, head of the Tokyo-based firm PEZY Computing, on suspicion of violating the Corporation Tax Act as early as Jan. 24. Saito is suspected of concealing the firm's income in order to evade corporate tax amounting to about 200 million yen (roughly $1.8 million).

Saito was initially arrested on Dec. 5, last year on suspicion of fraudulently receiving subsidies worth about 431 million yen from the government-affiliated New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). He was then served a second arrest warrant on Jan. 4, 2018 for illicitly obtaining a different set of subsidies from NEDO worth roughly 191 million yen. He has so far been charged with fraud.

According to a source, Saito is thought to have hid PEZY's income by padding about 800 million yen onto outsourcing costs paid from the firm to other companies where he served on their boards. By doing so, it is believed that PEZY managed to dodge paying corporate tax worth roughly 200 million yen. It is also thought that the fraudulently obtained subsidies were included in the concealed income.

With regard to the firms where Saito served as a board member, NEDO and the Japan Science and Technology Agency had decided to provide a total of about 10 billion yen in loans and subsidies. The special investigation unit of the Tokyo prosecutors' office is proceeding with a full-scale probe.

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