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Japanese Billionaire Casino CEO Faces Arrest on Fraud Charges

Tags: Billionaire, Japan, Kazuo Okada, Okada Manila, Philippines, Takahiro Usui.
Posted on 09 January 2019 by "T".

A Philippine court has ordered the arrest of Kazuo Okada, a Japanese billionaire casino mogul, who has been charged three counts of fraud while he was CEO of Tiger Resorts.

Okada, age 76, a man who first made his huge fortune in the 1990s as a supplier of pachinko machines to Japan and eventually made a big early investment into Wynn Resorts, has been accused to have siphoned $3.16 million from Tiger Resorts during his term as chief executive.

How it all Started
In 2017, Universal Entertainment Corporation began its probe of Okada and Yoshinao Negishi (former director and general manager of Universal's administrative division) based on the suspicions that many of the company directors have illegally approved the release of approximately JPY2 billion ($17.74 million) from a subsidiary without undergoing the proper internal decision-making procedures.

The gaming company conducted its probe onto the multi-million dollar illegal fund loss in 3 months (September 2017), with investigators concluding that the Japanese billionaire did commit fraud on three separate incidents. On December 2017, Universal said that the company had implemented new rules and measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Kazuo Okada lost his board position in 2017 at Universal, with the board accusing him of misappropriating $20 million in funds, to which he denied the allegation. Other than that, he was also ousted as director of an investment company in Hong Kong which controls Universal Entertainment, as a result of conflict between family members over control and money.

The Accusations in Detail
Back in January 2018, local news media The Manila Bulletin reported that Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), which operates Okada Manila, filed two fraud charges against Okada and former Tiger Resort President and Chief Operating Officer Takahiro Usui with the prosecutor's offices in the cities of Parañaque and Makati.

Siphoning of $3.16 million in salaries and consultancy fees
In the first complaint, TRLEI accused Okada of taking $3.16 million in salaries and consultancy fees even though he only served as the company's chief executive officer for only a month. Also, it claimed that Okada and Usui allowed the release of corporate funds with "no Board resolution, approving or authorizing the payment of (such) astronomical sums to Mr. Okada, whether as consultancy fee or salary."

The casino operator demanded that the two return the amount but they were ignored, "It is ingrained in jurisprudence that the failure to account for or return upon demand the money or property held in trust created a legal presumption of misappropriation."

TRLEI also accused Okada and Usui of perjury after the two questioned their ouster. In June 2017, both were abruptly removed from their individual posts after a Universal Entertainment boardroom coup.

Defective LED contract worth $7 million
The second complaint against Okada came from his decision to grant a supply contract for the installation of LED fixtures worth $7 million in Okada Manila to his own company Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc. It turns out that Aruze was not authorized to engage in the manufacture of lighting materials.

Okada Maintains Innocence
Okada maintains his innocence, stating that the charges were "to destroy my reputation in the business community and discredit all the hard work I have put into the establishment, rise, and success of Okada Manila, which is now operated by my accusers."

Okada states the money being questioned was a part of his compensation as CEO. However, according to Tiger Resort's management board, they did not authorize the payments and stated they were instead made by the company's ex-president Takahiro Usui. An arrest warrant for Usui was also issued. Both men were ousted from the company (operated by Universal Entertainment Corporation) in June 2017 after the board accused Okada of misappropriating $20 million.

To make things even stranger is that Okada's TRLEI company is currently being managed by Tomohiro Okada, his son. TRLEI is controlled by Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC), which is then controlled by Okada Holdings Limited (OHL).

Okada said, "How can I defraud the company that I own. As owner of Okada Manila, it is absolutely absurd for me to ‘unlawfully take' these salaries and fees." Okada filed a motion for reconsideration at the Philippine DOJ, saying the accusations against him are baseless. He claims he is the victim of a boardroom coup and the questioned funds were legal director's loans that he used to reinvest in junket operations for the Okada Manila.

Okada is suing his wife and son in the hopes of getting back the control of the company.

He also said he had invested more than $2 billion in the Okada Manila resort, "How would I commit estafa [fraud] against TRLEI and Okada Manila for a measly amount of salaries when I was the one who established and caused the rise and success of Okada Manila?"



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10 comments on "Japanese Billionaire Casino CEO Faces Arrest on Fraud Charges"

 CALICUL09/01/2019 16:41:45 GMT
Obviously these people who become billionaires and steals or borrows money from his own company,
are very naive.
They think they will not be caught when they make a childish mistake.
How can you have that much money and make such a mistake.
I think it was poured from the inside by a mole.
 godoy09/01/2019 17:43:29 GMT
what to say about it more I think in my opinion the more money is less afraid of the wrong if it has and so what happens are these stories of people who have the world in their hands and end up doing everything not to use it because the objective is no longer to live and yes they make more money no matter the form and yes they lose the life family friends freedom we must policiar to us because the money and much corompedor is the tip
 shokaku09/01/2019 17:56:42 GMT
Something does not add up here. $3 million would surely be a lot of money for us mere mortals,but why should the owner of the company, worth a few billion himself, cheat his own company. Looks a lot like a power struggle inside this business where the gloves already came off.
 Fakiry09/01/2019 18:49:07 GMT
Rule number one: never do business with family. For the son to enter the admin of the family business, the father should already be thinking about retiring. Otherwise, problems will appear and I guess that's what happened in this case. But he will have a good lawyer team on his side in court (which will also cost a lot) that will for sure turn the penalties into smaller amounts.

Rule number one: never do business with family. For the son to enter the admin of the family business, the father should already be thinking about retiring. Otherwise, problems will appear and I guess that's what happened in this case. But he will have a good lawyer team on his side in court (which will also cost a lot) that will for sure turn the penalties into smaller amounts.
 Mober09/01/2019 20:37:31 GMT
Who know what has really happened. I agree with shokaku.
Why a billionaire do something like that.
He had a need for that three millions, or even the 20 millions. He may be getting that in a single day with the business he has Smile
Family business went wrong, once more Smile
 CALICUL10/01/2019 16:42:17 GMT
People make strange decisions when they are rich.
Some try to borrow and forget to return them and others commit fraud but forget to remove the traces.
Now he has to waste time in law court.
By mistake he is now guilty and the laws can be harsh in that country.
Now he probably regret this thing. Blink
 godoy10/01/2019 16:49:32 GMT
kkkkkkkkkkkk I always say that money is a very strange thing because the more you have more you want to have more people that do not measure the effort and means to get this money even if it is the bad way because things are this way because they can not be played like anything else do what is not a slave of money and yes its owner and he his slave there you will be happy
 godoy11/01/2019 21:28:36 GMT
how can such a person be able to get involved with something so bad of this, it proves that the more money one has, the more one wants to have, no matter how much one gets it, the more I think that it is still an investigation and that if proven valid, ploblema for this Japanese ai kkkk
 Gerimantas13/01/2019 14:36:17 GMT
I personally not think it is all clear in this situation, but this person is billionaire and crime say he is commit charge of sum under 10 or 20 millions only so not many problems to him to give this money back if court say he is make crime. but not sure he makes bad moves maybe not all information is clear
 Mober13/01/2019 18:01:11 GMT
You never know what it happens when it comes to money.
And especially when we are talking about big money.
Not too long ago, here in greece, two sons lost their "battle" in court,
when they tried to declare their father "incompetent" to run the company,
in order to get the company. At least they lost the first round Smile

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