The Tokyo High Court in Japan has dismissed an appeal by Japanese entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured in a file photo) against a previous ruling ordering him to pay JPY21.3 million (US$203,927, at current exchange rates) in damages to Universal Entertainment Corp, the conglomerate he founded but from which he was ousted in 2017.
“A judgment dismissing the appeal of Mr Kazuo Okada … was recently issued by the Tokyo High Court on the grounds that the claims of Mr Okada were objectively contrary to the facts and as such inadmissible, while also fully recognising the claims of the company,” said Universal Entertainment in a Friday filing.
In February, the Tokyo District Court had sided with Universal Entertainment regarding what the company said were “fraudulent acts” by Mr Okada at the time he was leading the group and its subsidiaries.
The payment set at the time was said to be towards the cost of a special investigation launched by the group prior to Mr Okada’s ousting, that decided he had engaged in “three acts of fraudulence” in relation to the company’s accounts regarding certain payments he ordered should be made by entities of the group.
Mr Okada was also ordered to pay a 5-percent interest per year from December 29, 2017 on the JPY21.3-million award, “until the amount is paid in full,” according to the filing. The businessman has denied any wrongdoing.
Universal Entertainment is the parent company of the promoter of the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital Manila.
In July, a press release from Okada Manila stated that a court ruling in Japan had effectively blocked Mr Okada from returning to the board of either Universal Entertainment Corp, or the subsidiary that controls the casino property, for up to 30 years.
The businessman has had a long-standing legal battle – including litigation against immediate family members – to regain control of Universal Entertainment and associated businesses.
In a separate filing on Friday, Universal Entertainment said it would seek consent from eligible holders to amend the maturity date of US$600-million notes due in December 2021. The company is seeking to extend the maturity date to December 2024.
The Japanese conglomerate also said it plans to offer an additional US$100 million in new notes, with an interest rate of 8.5 percent, due December 2024.
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