A young Japanese man stole $96,000 from his boss’s briefcase and spent it all in just four hours at an Australian casino.
Takur Yanagida made no attempt to cover his tracks after stealing his boss’s money. He even showed his passport and membership card when he bought chips at the Crown Melbourne Casino.
Victoria County Court Judge Robert Dyer described 23-year-old Takuro Yanagida’s actions on October 21, 2018 as “panic-driven” and “opportunistic.”
According to court documents, the employee stole $96,000 from his boss, Gohsuke Kotani, while they were on a business trip to Melbourne. Yanagida thought he had found a foolproof way of paying off his debts when he quietly crept into his sleeping boss’s hotel room and used a key open the briefcase containing the money.
He removed about half the cash in the briefcase and went straight to the Crown Melbourne Casino. His plan was to double the money and return the stolen cash before Kotani woke up.
What could possibly go wrong?
“He was bound to get caught,” the young man’s defense lawyer, Lachlan Cameron, remarked.
All his movements inside the casino were caught on surveillance video.
Yanagida returned to the hotel empty-handed after spending four hours at the casino and crawled into bed for what must have been a fitful two hours of sleep.
When his boss confronted him the next morning he initially denied stealing the money, but confessed to the crime after police were called. He was quickly ID’d by Crown Melbourne staff.
Yanagida testified that he owed Kotani around $20,000 after an ill-fated gambling trip to Korea and was desperate to repay the debt.
The judge felt that the young man showed genuine remorse and only sentenced him to eight months in prison.
After receiving credit for time served Yanagida will be released from prison in about one month. He will then be immediately deported to Japan.
“Your offending may have been initiated by a naive belief that you could use Mr Kotani’s money to win at the casino and pay off your financial situation,” Judge Dyer said while sentencing Yanagida on Friday, according to News.com.au.