Legendary Japanese music producer Tetsuya Komuro was arrested on Tuesday morning (Nov 4) on suspicion of fraud and could face up to 10 years of jail term.
The 49-year-old is alleged to have scammed an investor of 500 million yen (~$5mil USD) in 2006 by selling copyrights of 806 tunes which he written but did not own the rights.
Komuro lost a civil suit in July 2008 in which he was ordered to pay 600 million yen to the investor as compensation, but he didn’t manage to do so by the deadline (Sept 30), thus prompted the investor to file a police report.
Komuro is widely regarded as the most successful J-pop music producer in 1990s. He was the producer for top Japanese stars like Namie Amuro, TRF, Ami Suzuki, Ryoko Shinohara and Hitomi etc… it’s estimated that more than 170 million copies of his production were sold over the years.
Komuro was then one of the richest entertainers in Japan with over USD100 million of wealth. His music career has however been declining since 2000, and his investment failure in 2001-2004 has sunk him into financial trouble which he obviously couldn’t manage to recover.
Update [May 2009] – Komuro received a five-year suspended jail term, which means he wouldn’t need to go to jail if he behaves properly during the period.
Komuro has his ex-boss Masato Matsuura to thank for; the president of Avex Group provided money for Komuro to repay the debts, which probably make the different between a suspended or actual jail sentence.