The money was supposed to be COVID-19 assistance for low-income households in a small Japanese town, but it was mistakenly wired to a bank account of a resident who refused to return it and spent most of it on online gambling, police said.
Sho Taguchi, a 24-year-old jobless resident in the town of Abu in western Japan, was arrested on Wednesday, Yamaguchi prefectural police said.
Police said Thursday he admitted to spending most of the 46.3 million yen ($360,000) of taxpayers’ money on gambling. According to Kyodo News agency, only 68,000 yen ($530) is left in his bank account after he withdrew the money 34 times in just over 10 days after the town made the mistake.
He’s being held on suspicion of computer fraud. Taguchi had allegedly refused the town request to return the money, police said.