Takafumi Horie, out of prison, starts mobile app firm

A Japanese entrepreneur who founded one of the country’s largest web portals and was a national celebrity before being jailed for securities fraud is now free and has launched a firm to develop smartphone apps.

Takafumi Horie was once a household name in Japan as the outspoken founder and CEO of Livedoor, a popular domestic website. Dubbed “Horiemon” in the press for his similarity to the pudgy animation character Doraemon, he published several best-selling books on business and once ran for political office with the backing of the prime minister.

He attempted a hostile takeover of a large TV station that led to new acquisition laws in Japan, and when his home and company’s offices were raided in 2006 on suspicion of fraud it caused a plunge in the stock market. Many investors who had sunk their life savings into his firm’s shares were subsequently wiped out.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese Internet icon, free from prison, starts app design firm.

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