TOKYO/KYOTO -- Among Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara's clients is an 87-year-old widow who owns a mountain and a forest in a rural area just outside Tokyo. Vulnerable, and with valuable assets, she has been the target of several scams. A sales agent from a construction company convinced her to build a block of apartments on her land, persuading her to "sign" the contracts with a thumbprint. A local credit cooperative sold her a $50,000 life insurance policy she didn't need.
Yoshiwara, the former president of Jonan Shinkin Bank in Tokyo, runs a service that provides guardianship services for elderly people. Together with his lawyers, he had both of the widow's transactions canceled.