Paying the Price

by .

Gary Mead explores the murky world of corporate fraud and finds out that it’s increasingly difficult to escape the ever-growing network of powerful preventative measures.

Shigeru Echigo, a former salesman at Deutsche Bank, found himself in front of the Tokyo District Court in April 2014. He pleaded guilty to spending the equivalent of $8,776 on entertaining a client, Yutaka Tsurisawa, a pension fund executive, to “encourage” him to carry on buying Deutsche’s investment products.

But Tsurisawa’s portfolio included public pensions, making him a civil servant in the eyes of Japanese law – and if civil servants have this kind of hospitality lavished on them, they can expect to be charged with accepting bribes.

Tsurisawa’s punishment – apart from career ruin – was a suspended 18-month jail term and forced repayment of the money. When Echigo faced the court he pleaded a version of the Nuremberg defence – he was just following orders: “My actions as a salesman were part of systematic conduct based on instructions and consent of my bosses at Deutsche Securities”, he told the court.

This article originally appeared in the June edition of the Odgers Berndston magazine, Observe. Click here to read the full article. 

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