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It is a bizarre tale of a bedding company, a megalomaniac businessman and a make-believe currency. And today it culminated in a series of arrests in what could be the biggest investment scam in Japanese history.
Kazutsugi Nami, the chairman of L&G, which stands for Ladies & Gentlemen, a bankrupt bedding supplier, and 21 other executives are suspected of defrauding hundreds of thousands of investors of at least $1.4bn (£1bn) over the past eight years.
In return for their money, Nami promised investors cash returns of 36% a year plus their original investment.
Those who paid at least ¥100,000 (£770) also received an equivalent sum in Enten - or Paradise Yen - a virtual currency Nami claimed would become legal tender in a post-recession era in which he would be "world famous".
Before he was marched away by officers, Mr Nami boasted that his currency could yet become a success. "Because of the financial crisis, countries will adopt the enten in three years' time," he insisted. "I will start shining and become world famous. I will certainly move the world."