Executives of Tokyo startup SUN arrested

Executives of SUN, a Tokyo-based “Second Life”-related startup company, have been arrested under suspicion of facilitating the escape of another man wanted by police. The suspect, a lawyer and ex-member of Osaka’s prefectural assembly, was allegedly involved in tax evasion [1], and has since been captured in Manila.

The CEO of the company was prosecuted with concealing the suspect. He pleaded guilty and was released after being fined 200,000 yen ($2000).

Internet Watch reported that the lawyer intimidated the executives by threatening to give SUN stock to the Yakuza.

SUN has a shopping mall called “Tokyo ZERO banchi” [JP] (lit: Tokyo zeroth avenue) in Second Life. [2]

SUN declared bankruptcy on 21 November 2008. The executives also allegedly falsified the company’s books. [3] A letter from their lawyers suggests that they have borrowed money from unlawful investors.

ngi group, one of the most famous venture capitalists in the Japanese IT industry, funded SUN with 190 million yen ($1.9M) on 22 October 2008. They will report an allowance for a 100% loss of the investment in Q3.

1. Internet Watch, 17 November 2008. [JP]
2. Internet Watch, 18 July 2007. [JP]
3. Internet Watch, 25 November 2008. [JP]

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Shunichi Arai is developing a product for his new stealth startup. Arai devotes his life to software business, reading, and salsa dancing. Arai also loves to learn other cultures and languages such as Korean.

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Shunichi Arai

Shunichi Arai is developing a product for his new stealth startup. Arai devotes his life to software business, reading, and salsa dancing. Arai also loves to learn other cultures and languages such as Korean.