Japanese Entrepreneur Takafumi Horie Heads to Jail

Epoch Times30. April 2011 Aktualisiert: 30. April 2011 21:10

Once touted as a symbol of a new, dynamic Japan, 38-year-old entrepreneur Takafumi Horie is now heading to jail.

Known for his celebrity lifestyle and aggressive takeover bids, Horie rattled corporate Japan, as he expanded Internet Company Livedoor into a conglomerate worth $6 billion at its peak.

But this week, he lost his final appeal in a fraud case, and is resigned to doing time.

[Takafumi Horie, Former Livedoor CEO]:
„There were quite a few points that I was not satisfied with and that’s why I appealed. However, as my appeal was turned down, I will indeed enter prison sometime in the next month or so.“

Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a decision by a Tokyo high court, giving Horie a two-and-a-half year sentence without suspension for padding Livedoor’s earnings and driving up its share price by giving false information to investors.

[Takafumi Horie, Former Livedoor CEO]:
„In terms of why everything got to the point that it did, I’m sure that there may be some things caused by my fault. However, I plan to study so that the same thing does not happen again. I plan on coming back to make myself useful again.“

Before his fall from grace, Horie’s bold takeover battles shook Japan’s conservative business establishment.

Horie first rose to fame in 2004, with his failed bid for a professional baseball team. A later takeover battle with a major Japanese TV network cemented his place in corporate folklore as the new model of entrepreneurship in Japan.

The two-and-a-half year prison term is unusually harsh by Japanese standards, as most white-collar criminals are often able to avoid jail time.

Horie is vowing to return to his current business in space tourism once he gets out of prison.

Foto: NTD

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