Earlier this week, high-stakes poker player Masa Kagawa was one of nine men arrested by the Chiba Prefectural Police in Japan and charged with running an Android malware ring and operating a scam dating site. The 50-year-old Kagawa, who is the president of the Tokyo IT firm Koei Planning, is alleged as the mastermind behind the distribution of spam with Android Enesoluty, a malware used to collect personal contact details on a device.
Authorities believe the operation ran from September of last year until this past April, which is when authorities raided Koei Planning offices.
According to symantec.com, Kagawa and his team were "able to collect approximately 37 million email addresses from around 810,000 Android devices. The company earned over 390 million yen (approximately 3.9 million US dollars) by running a fake online dating service called Sakura site in the last five months of the spam operation. Spam used to lure victims to the dating site was sent to the addresses collected by the malware."
Kagawa has appeared on GSN's High Stakes Poker and is a familiar face on the poker circuit, especially in the Asia-Pacific region at stops with high roller tournaments. In 2007, Kagawa finished third in the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for $198,820. His other notable accomplishments include a fifth-place finish in the 2012 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for $468,030 and third in the 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for $337,824. Kagawa also has cashes on the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour.
Kagawa and his associates are now awaiting prosecution. PokerNews will bring you more on this story when details become available.