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Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Lawyer Found Guilty of Multimillion Dollar Swindle

A UK court found a London-based in-house lawyer guilty Oct. 20 of swindling her employer of ?6.67 million ($10.9 million).

In her role as deputy head of legal in the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's London office, Kate Johns convinced colleagues to break procedure and approve six- and seven-figure letters of credit. She promised co-workers she would do the necessary paperwork later and told them the emergency requests came from the bank's European head Yoshihobu Onishi.

The money went to Air Efata, a struggling Indonesian airline a friend owned, but first Johns would take a cut. In total she received ?1.95 million ($3.21 million) for her role in the scheme, which she reportedly spent on shopping and breast surgery. As for the airline, it went under and its owner killed himself last year.

In court, Johns testified that she thought she had permission to sign the letters of credit, but Onishi countered that they'd never discussed Air Efata.

Johns' sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 4.

Associate Editor

Melissa Maleske

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