After stealing his father’s credit card, one 16-year-old Japanese boy had the (questionably) brilliant idea of taking it for a spin around some “cabaret clubs,” racking up 5,500,000 yen (approximately US$53,300) in charges. His father, understandably, was not willing to the pay and went to court to dispute the bill from American Express.
And how did that turn out for him? Not bad, actually.
This week, the Kyoto District Court officially invalidated 4,800,000 yen (approximately US$47,386) of the bill. Thought it’s not a complete win, it’s a pretty damn big reduction. Maybe even enough to keep the father from sending his son to work the debt off in a salt mine.
Judge Hashidume, the presiding judge, said that American Express bore partial responsibility for the charges since they didn’t do anything about so many large and clearly suspicious charges. He also pointed out that American Express clearly hadn’t properly verified the identity of the card holder. Additionally, since the kid was only 16 years old, he obviously couldn’t enter into a legally-binding contract, let alone enter and drink at such adult establishments.
The kid, who remains unnamed in accordance with Japanese law, was also said to be quite “baby faced,” so it was surely obvious that he was underage. Or, rather, it was obvious that he was underage and the clubs were working him over to ratchet up the bills. Turns out this kid was sucking down everything from Dom Perignon to Louis XIII de Remy Martin (the cognac, not the French king), drinks so classy I had to look them up on Wikipedia.
In case you haven’t heard of them, “ cabaret clubs ” (or “kyabakura” in Japanese) are basically hostess clubs, where attractive women are paid to sit, drink, and talk with customers. Unlike hostess clubs, kyabakura charge based on time, so the goal, obviously, is to entice patrons to drink as much as possible. Which probably sounds exactly like paradise to a 16-year-old with his father’s credit card.
Source: Livedoor news , Sankei News West
Image source: Cafe&Bar Katamachi Atena ( feature image ), Tenka musou ( second cabaret club image ), Wikipedia ( Louis XIII ), Culture Japan ( third cabaret club image )