Ever had one of those nights at the online casino that you regret for the rest of your life? Yeah, I’ve been there. You have a few drinks, the blackjack is smoking hot, you can’t lose, the bets start increasing, more drinks, the losses mount, but it’s 3 a.m. and you start doubling your bets to make back the losses. Before you know it, the sun’s coming up and it’s been a calamitous (Grammarly suggested I use that word) night — in your bedroom.
You and I aren’t alone in having one or more of these benders on our resumes. 24-year-old Japanese wildman Sho Taguchi is accused of blowing through a massive pile of COVID stimulus cash that was wired to him by accident.
The story goes that a government official mistakenly wired $360,000 (USD), Abu, Japan’s entire stimulus budget, to Taguchi, who was on a list of low-income residents who were to receive $775 payments out of that total.
Instead, it ended up in Taguchi’s bank account and he got busy blowing through it at an online casino, according to the police who are charging the man with fraud.
It’s believed Abu, Japan is the only town on Earth that has seen its entire COVID stimmy check end up as online casino losses.
The Japan Times reports Taguchi is sorry for partying and intends to repay his losses, but we all know Sho isn’t just coming up with $360,000 out of thin air. And it’s not like the Japanese government is in the mood to let this guy go double or nothing at the online casinos. He already blew through his first $360k. It’s not like you can trust him to hit the roulette wheel and win it back via red or black.
Now the town wants Sho to pay up 51 million yen, plus legal fees.
“We want to trace the flow of the money in the lawsuit. I want him to return it, it’s not too late,” the town’s mayor told the Times.
Here’s how you get the money back: You have Sho write a book about blowing through the money, but it needs to be an action-thriller with a jacked-up plot so it’ll play well across Japan.
It turns out that Sho is actually Brad Pitt and Sho-Pitt suddenly has this huge pile of cash in his bank account — let’s bump it up to $20 million to get people’s attention — and he’s on the run from the Japanese FBI.
An action scene breaks out as Sho-Pitt is incredibly drunk and playing $50k hands of blackjack in a Japanese casino. Jet Lee is the pit boss who suspects Sho-Pitt could be gambling illegal government funds. Jet Lee is also suspicious of Scarlett Johansson, who plays Sho-Pitt’s love interest and card counter.
All hell breaks loose as Jet Lee asks to talk to Sho-Pitt in a secret room. That’s when Scar Jo & Sho-Pitt make a run for it. The audience had no idea that Sho-Pitt is actually trained in all sorts of martial arts, as is Scar Jo, and Jet Lee’s security team finds itself in a real battle.
You get the point. This is an instant Hollywood hit. There’s all sorts of chemistry between Sho-Pitt and Scar Jo as they kiss high atop a Tokyo skyscraper as the Japanese FBI rolls in to take down their man.
BOOM, we just solved Abu, Japan’s lost money issue. Make the movie, collect your $360k and throw Sho a few bones to play the slots. Everyone goes home happy and the local poor people get a few extra dollars to get a Coke on a Saturday night.
Dial it up, Japan.