Lehman Bros. sues Marubeni over investment scam

TOKYO, March 31, 2008 (AFP) – Lehman Brothers on Monday sued Japan’s Marubeni Corp. for about 350 million dollars over a bogus investment scheme allegedly involving two employees of the trading giant.

Lehman Brothers filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court seeking compensation of 35.2 billion yen (352 million dollars) from Marubeni, said a spokeswoman for the US bank who declined to be named.

It also filed a letter with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department alleging that it had been a victim of fraud, she said.
Marubeni, a trading giant whose interests span chemicals, energy, textiles and aerospace, denied any responsibility.

“The act was conducted solely by individuals,” the group said in a statement. “As a company, our firm has never been involved.”

Marubeni Corp shares tumbled 51 yen or 6.56 percent to close at 726 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

“The amount of compensation (being sought by Lehman Brothers) is not big enough to seriously damage Marubeni’s finances, but investors tend to be concerned about corporate image following such news,” said Masatoshi Sato, strategist at Mizuho Investors Securities.

Lehman Brothers said it was defrauded out of 350 million