Fighting is a hard way to earn a living. When a manager takes a fighter's earnings, the sport has to take full notice, which has not happened in the case of Yoshihiro Akiyama, who was allegedly ripped off by his manager, five years ago.
The amount taken in not clear at this time, with the account of the incident referring to $1,000,000, and unlikely sum for a fighter at Akiyama's level. The amount give in Japanese yen, 13,550,000 is equal to around US $140,000.
AsianMMA.com has the story.
In 2008, Yoshihiro Akiyama wrote in a blog about his former best friend and manager and some shady dealings that went down. According to Akiyama, the two became best friends, then business partners. Akiyama trusted his manager with his entire bank, and entrusted him all his sponsorship and fight dealings.
Allegedly, in February/March of 2008, manager Sawayama Tarou took money five times from the account that held Akiyama’s fight money earnings, taking around 13550000 yen (approximately US $140,000). Akiyama noticed in May of the same year when he went to withdrawal money for a new home, and went to the police about it.
Needless to say, the two parted ways.
In 2009, Akiyama was successful in a civil suit and proceeded with a criminal complaint. Little had been heard about the outcome of this until today, when the Sankei Shimbun published a report stating Sawayama was arrested on an embezzlement charge related to Akiyama. He was picked up in Osaka, Japan and will face charges in an unknown location.
According to the police, Sawayama was stealing Akiyama’s fight money, and they caught him using it for a credit card payment.
The police are currently investigating Sawayama for other potential crimes