Buddhist priest embezzles 13 million yen from followers

Mainichi Shimbun, Nov 14, 2005

MATSUDO, Chiba (Japan) -- The 71-year-old head priest of a Zen Buddhist temple here misappropriated at least 13 million yen that followers supplied for a new temple building, it has emerged.

Followers at Choyoji Temple, which belongs to the Soto Zen sect of Buddhism, have filed a criminal complaint against the priest, whose name has been withheld, and law enforcers are investigating his actions.

A new main building was constructed at the temple in 2001 and followers put in 42 million yen to pay for the work. However, suspicious arose about the way the money was being used and when followers investigated, they reportedly found that funds had been misappropriated.