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TITLE 【Syllabus of Latest Opinion】 Supreme Court Decision 2018Do7682 Decided September 26, 2019 【Violation of the Act on Registration of Credit Business, Etc. and Protection of Finance Users; Violation of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc.】 [full Text]
Summary
[1] Whether the term “lending money,” or loan, as stipulated in Article 2 Subparag. 1 of the Act on Registration of Credit Business, Etc. and Protection of Finance Users has to fundamentally include as its elements of concept the act of providing credit by providing money under the premise that a certain amount of money will be redeemed at least over a certain period of time irrespective of the manner or means of transaction (affirmative)
In a case where money is provided via transactions to purchase goods or services at discount prices, whether it is against the principle of no punishment without law to consider cases in which the above elements of concept of lending money are difficult to be recognized in relation to the above provision of money as the lending of money under the same Act (affirmative)
[2] In a case where: (a) the Defendant uploaded an advertisement containing the phrases “Small Loans and Encashment of Micropayment” on the website; (b) the Defendant made the clients, who contacted the Defendant upon reading this ad, to purchase gift vouchers through micropayments and let him know the PIN number that are authenticated after the purchase of gift vouchers; (c) in this way, the Defendant deducted a certain sum of money from the face value of the gift vouchers purchased by the clients as advance interests and lent the remaining amount of money as loans; (d) the Defendant then sold the above PIN numbers to gift voucher sellers, thereby operating an unregistered money lending business; (e) the Defendant was charged with violating the Act on Registration of Credit Business, Etc. and Protection of Finance Users, the case holding that: (a) the Defendant’s purchase of gift vouchers at discount prices from clients and provision of money with the payment with which said gift vouchers were purchased are difficult to be considered to have satisfied the elements of concept of lending money, and thus, does not constitute “lending of money” that is subject to legal regulation; (b) thus, the lower court that found the Defendants guilty of the facts charged under different assumptions erred by misapprehending the legal doctrine
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