In 1991 it was alleged that a major stock broker in Japan had lent large amounts to the former leader of an organized crime group in order to purchase shares. Groups known as sokaiya controlled by organized crime engage in year-round blackmail of corporations; for a fee they disrupt shareholders meetings (leading to a situation in which many of such meetings are held on the same day to stretch the resources of such groups). In the 1970s it has been estimated that corporations were paying such groups 10 billion yen annually. In 1994 the links of business to organized crime in Japan were highlighted by the murder of a senior executive for refusal to pay extortion money. In Italy throughout the period 1992 through 1994 numerous examples of bribery of officials, politicians and ministers by corporate executives were brought to light, often with the involvement of organized crime. In 1993 in Russia a very high percentage of business activity was considered by all observers to be operating outside any rules and frequently with organized crime connections.