It looked legit, it was running a lot of servers, then I lost ¥10 million

Murder suspect Gregory Joseph Gumo

Murder suspect Gregory Joseph Gumo

Inbound. Just as I suspected. More insights purging out of every nook and cranny of the internet on Gregory Gumo. It appears to be as I expected and a lot more as I have been blogging all along. Gregory Gumo has left a trail of criminal activity all the way from New York to Tokyo written about in this article from The Japan Times.

Thanks for providing the link on this article from The Japan Times commentator. It is falling into place and just as I have discovered as well, Gregory Gumo left the U.S. because he is probably wanted for criminal activity. Can we get a run down please on what the amount of money that Gregory Gumo was able to extract out of Mariko Akitaya? It escalated and Mario Akitaya was not going to back down. If he was able to take this guy for ¥10 million just imagine how easy it was to lure his Japanese wife in? What was she worth to him?

This article appeared
at The Japan Times

Trail of failed ventures involving American in murder probe leads from New York to Tokyo
by Simon Scott and Ben Stubbings

Aug 19, 2015

In the days prior to July 29, when Mariko Akitaya’s lifeless body was discovered floating off the coast of Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, police say Gregory Gumo, an American resident of Yokohama, purchased a rope and a brown plastic sheet.

On July 27, security camera footage captured images of Gumo and Akitaya traveling in a vehicle in the direction of nearby Atami. Two days later, Akitaya’s body was found, wrapped in a brown sheet and attached with rope to a concrete block at the bottom of the shallow bay. She had reportedly been alive when she entered the water, and evidence of drugs used in sleeping pills was detected in her blood. Later on July 29, Gumo was detained at Haneda Airport, where police say he planned to board a plane to the United States. He was charged on Aug. 6 with disposing of a body and the case was sent to prosecutors on Aug. 8.

Kanagawa police believe Gumo, a 41-year-old married father of three, met Akitaya, a 42-year-old single employee in the cosmetics industry, through a dating website. Like most people their age, the victim and her suspected killer left a digital trail across social media and other online sources that may prove useful to police attempting to understand the crime. While Akitaya’s online presence was minimal, Gumo — who styled himself as a master event promoter and start-up entrepreneur — left a far bigger footprint that traces the arc of his adult life, from the clubland of his native New York to Japan and Singapore.

Luis Mendez first met Gumo in the Gaspanic nightclub in Tokyo’s Shibuya district in 2003, not long after Gumo is believed to have arrived in Japan, through a mutual friend.

“I thought, ‘My friends know him, so he is a cool guy,’ ” Mendez says.

Mendez, now 44, was working as a model at the time for a number of Japanese fashion houses. He says it was a couple of years later before he saw Gumo again, this time in Gaspanic’s now-shuttered Yokohama branch, where Gumo was working as a waiter taking drink orders.

He says Gumo starting telling him about an Internet business idea he had called Cloud Five, which he envisioned as a type of peer-to-peer file-sharing system similar to the now-defunct LimeWire.

“I wanted to be a part of starting it — I saw a vision of people downloading stuff,” says Mendez. “I was like, ‘This will be huge.'”

He says he met Gumo a few more times and everything seemed above-board, so he invested all his savings.

“He got me some paperwork and showed me some stuff,” he explains. “I looked through the stuff and I put through ¥10 million — that was cash. I had it in my Louis Vuitton bag.”

Two of his friends also invested $5,000 each (roughly ¥550,000 at the time) into the business, he says, which added to his confidence that Gumo was the real deal.

Mendez says he came from an impoverished background and grew up tough on the streets of Brooklyn, New York.

“We were always homeless, sleeping on the train one day and then in the homeless shelter,” he says.

Mendez believes that his background skewed his perspective on the value of money.

“I was poor and got into the modeling game and I suddenly had money,” he says.

After parting with his ¥10 million, Mendez was now a proud shareholder in Cloud Five. Later, he says Gumo took him to the fledgling company’s office, which he now believes was paid for with the money he and his friends had invested.

“He has this place which is two stories, not far from Roppongi,” Mendez recalls. “It is looking beautiful and it was running a lot of servers. It looked legit.”

Yet as time went on, and with Gumo becoming ever harder to track down, Mendez says he began to suspect all was not as it seemed.

“It is almost a year and we hadn’t seen any returns, and now the apartment is gone,” he says. “He has just disappeared.”

Mendez says he spent years trying to track down Gumo and get his money back, but with no luck, when, out of the blue, he ran into him around 2006 or 2007, again in Gaspanic in Shibuya.

“I saw him through the corner of my eye, and then he goes out the door, and I run towards the door. I look down and the guy is not there. I run straight down, flying down the stairs and this guy is gone, I mean gone,” says Mendez. “That was the last time I saw him.”

Mendez says he never got a penny back from Gumo, but he also never reported what happened to him to the Japanese authorities.

“I f—-ed it up,” he admits. “I lost the money and I wanted to settle it myself.”

In 2010 Mendez returned to the U.S., and he says that although it took him some time to get back on his feet, he is doing well now working as a doorman at a nightclub in New York.

“I can’t believe I put my trust in him,” he says of Gumo. “I felt betrayed, and after that I couldn’t trust anybody with anything, money-wise.”

Please go to The Japan Times to read the rest of the article.