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Kawamoto released from Tokyo jail on $5 million bail

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:11 p.m. HST, Apr 17, 2013

Japanese real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto, who was arrested March 5 for tax evasion, was released on March 29 after paying bail of 500 million yen ($5.1 million) in cash, the online newspaper Japan Today reported.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office special investigation squad accused Kawamoto of hiding 3.5 billion yen ($35.8 million) in earnings and arrested him in early March, the newspaper said.

Kawamoto, 81, who lives in a 5-star hotel in Tokyo, has denied the charges, the newspaper said.

About a decade ago, Kawamoto began buying up million-dollar estates on Kahala Avenue, spending close to $165 million for almost 30 homes.

Kawamoto crudely broke down walls, leaving rubble lying about. He also filled in swimming pools, he said for liability reasons, and often let vegetation grow wild. Some of his homes fell into disrepair and racked up city fines. Several homes were demolished, some have been vandalized and some were sold.

He provided three Hawaiian families with free rent at three of the Kahala residences since 2007. On four other properties he has arranged dozens of statues, including life-size lions, nudes and towering pagodas.

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