TOKYO (AP) — The cash was presupposed to be COVID-19 help for low-income households in a small Japanese city, however it was mistakenly wired to a checking account of a resident who refused to return it and spent most of it on on-line playing, police stated.

Sho Taguchi, a 24-year-old jobless resident within the city of Abu in western Japan, was arrested on Wednesday, Yamaguchi prefectural police stated.

Police stated Thursday he admitted to spending a lot of the 46.3 million yen ($360,000) of taxpayers’ cash on playing. In response to Kyodo Information company, solely 68,000 yen ($530) is left in his checking account after he withdrew the cash 34 occasions in simply over 10 days after the city made the error.

He’s being held on suspicion of pc fraud. Taguchi had allegedly refused the city request to return the cash, police stated.

The funds have been COVID-19 subsidies that have been deposited into his checking account in April. Every of the 463 low-income households in Abu, inhabitants 3,372, was presupposed to obtain 100,000 yen ($780). However a city official mistakenly submitted to a monetary establishment a single switch request of the whole quantity to Taguchi, whose identify was the primary on the checklist of recipients, Kyodo Information reported.

City officers are individually investigating how the misguided switch went by unnoticed, a mistake that has triggered a wave of criticism from residents.

Abu Mayor Norihiko Hanada on Thursday instructed reporters that the arrest is a step towards tracing the cash and hoped it’s recovered in full.

Taguchi’s arrest was based mostly on his alleged switch of 4 million yen ($31,300) of the city cash paid into an account believed to be an internet playing web site. Police declined to say how a lot of the cash he really gambled away, although he instructed them it was most of it.