Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp says it has filed a lawsuit alleging damage by its founder and former chairman, Kazuo Okada (pictured). The suit was lodged on November 27 in the Tokyo District Court in Japan, the firm said in a Friday press release.
“With the lawsuit, the company has made a claim for compensation against Mr Okada for a part of the damage suffered … due to his negligence of duty as a board member of the company,” said Universal Entertainment.
The press release did not disclose the amount of compensation sought by the Japanese conglomerate, saying only that it would be “the amount equivalent” to costs of a probe into Mr Okada’s conduct, that was delegated to a “Special Investigation Committee”.
Universal Entertainment announced in early June that it had established an investigative panel to probe Mr Okada’s use of company money, saying it had found three cases in which the Japanese businessman was suspected of misappropriating company funds.
The panel’s report found that the former chairman was responsible for “three acts of fraudulence”. The document – disclosed in September – concluded that Mr Okada “committed these [fraudulent] acts for his own personal benefit”.
In Friday’s statement, Universal Entertainment said that the scope of the claim against Mr Okada in the latest lawsuit “is limited to the damage directly suffered by the company”.
But it added that Tiger Resort Asia Ltd – a wholly owned Hong Kong subsidiary of Universal Entertainment – also “plans to file a separate suit against Mr Okada in Hong Kong for compensation”, given that the subsidiary suffered “the majority of the damage … as a result of the fraudulent acts”.
In late September, Universal Entertainment said it had sued a firm linked to Mr Okada for JPY100 million (US$886,938). The reason is the alleged failure of one of Mr Okada’s privately held companies – Aruze Gaming America Inc, a maker of casino slot machines and electronic table games – to pay patent licensing fees said to be owed to Universal Entertainment.
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"The ICAC in Hong Kong has the authority to detain people or to arrest people. But being detained or arrested – and actually being charged – are completely different things"
Japanese gaming entrepreneur