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Japanese Man Mistakenly Received Covid-19 Relief Money for His Entire Town

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By Jerry Walters - - 5 Mins Read
A man wearing a nose mask, germ illustration in background
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In 2022, an incident occurred that left many people puzzled. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous countries worldwide assisted various communities.

This assistance program was created to mitigate the impact of the post-Covid-19 economy on its citizens. However, a young Japanese man received more than $300k in Covid-19 relief funds due to an unforeseen error.


In the town of Abu, located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, 463 households have applied for the COVID-19 relief fund. Among these applicants was a 24-year-old man (in 2022) who also sought to receive some of the funds.


The man's name was at the top of the list for receiving COVID funds, but due to a mistake, he received most of the funds. As a result, this caused a gross misspending of the COVID funds.


Apparently, the bank sending this money thought the man's name was the person who was supposed to disburse the funds to the people in the town. 

Man Makes Away with 46.3 Million Yen 

When you receive the money you are sure doesn't belong to you, the next step is usually to report to the necessary authority, except if you have other illegal plans.


It appears this individual chose to keep a large sum of money instead of notifying the proper authorities. He devised a strategy to withdraw 600,000 yen daily for approximately two weeks to avoid any suspicion from the bank. Once the process was finished, he fled. 


The officials soon realized their mistake and caught up with the man on 21st April 2022. The man was charged with a lawsuit demanding 51.16 million yen in repayments.


Before the officials could return to the man, he had packed his things and left the town. Apparently, he was part of those who moved to Abu in October 2020 through their Vacant House Bank program.


A lot of individuals are confused about the events that occurred and how the situation unfolded. Some are pointing fingers at law enforcement agencies for providing the young man with an opportunity to escape, while others believe that the money won't last and he will eventually need help again.


Regarding the incident, it seems that the act was unnecessary since the police are capable of apprehending the suspect. Furthermore, the case is ongoing for a period of ten years, starting from 2022. 


One individual who was present during the situation had expressed their opinion.


One of the people who voiced their opinions said, "The officials gave him enough time to make his escape. That’s for sure."


Another person judged the man based on his age and said the money wouldn't last long. "If he was in his 70s, I could understand making a run for it. But at 24, that money isn’t going to last," another person opined.