According to his lawyer, a 24-year-old man who was wrongfully paid millions of Japanese yen has already lost the money through internet gambling.
The individual received 46.3 million yen ($357,400; £287,000) in his bank account, money from a COVID assistance fund intended for 463 people.
He initially stated that he would work with authorities, but he has since vanished.
The municipality of Abu in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, is suing the man and considering criminal charges.
The misunderstanding occurred when 463 low-income families were supposed to receive 100,000 yen ($770; £620) each as part of a government plan to alleviate the financial strain caused by the pandemic.
However, on April 8, the entire sum of 46.3 million yen was unintentionally put into the man’s personal bank account.
According to local media, an investigation revealed that he withdrew 600,000 yen every day for roughly two weeks.
When officials finally got in touch with him, he claimed he didn’t have the money. However, he has since vanished.
The man’s lawyer told reporters on Tuesday that his client had been cooperating with authorities and had accepted to be examined by prefecture police. Officials have been unable to contact him since the complaint was filed against him on May 12th.
According to his lawyer, the individual used his smartphone to gamble away all of the money through online gambling sites.
I don’t have the money right now, and I don’t have anything with a property value. “Returning it is truly quite tough. “ According to The Asahi Shimbun, the lawyer cited him as saying.
The Abu Municipal Government has filed a lawsuit against the man for 51 million yen, plus legal fees.
Mayor Norihiko Hanada has apologised to people, saying that his administration “will do everything possible to recover the significant sum of public funds.”
The eligible households have received another wave of 100,000 yen payouts.