Universal Entertainment Corp, the Japanese company controlled by Kazuo Okada, filed criminal charges against an unnamed former employee of the company. The criminal charges were filed with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on May 29, the company said in a filing to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Takafumi Nakano, a former employee of Mr Okada, had filed a criminal complaint against the billionaire entrepreneur, alleging that he had ordered the payment of bribes to advance the still-unfinished Manila Bay Resorts (pictured above in an artist’s rendering) in the Philippines.
Universal now says it has filed criminal charges against “a former representative manager of the Japan branch of Aruze USA Inc”, a subsidiary of the company. It said it filed “professional embezzlement” charges because of the employee’s “unlawful behaviour relating to the illegal outgo of US$5 million”.
“It has become evident that our group paid US$25 million under the misunderstanding that the payment was necessary – mainly due to the lack of appropriate report from the staff in charge of the Philippines project,” Universal said referring to a report it commissioned from a panel of outside experts. The firm added hat it also filed fraud charges with the Tokyo prosecutors.
Mr Nakano was the administration division manager of the Japanese branch of Aruze USA.
“The company has filed criminal charges, not criminal complaints, because the direct victim is Aruze USA,” Univesal said.
The criminal complaint marks the latest episode in the legal battle between Mr Okada and three former employees, including Mr Nakano, over alleged US$40 million in payments made in 2010 to advance the construction of the US$2-billion casino resort at Manila’s Entertainment City.
The alleged payments have been the subject of separate investigations by the Philippines Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Nevada gaming regulator.
Mr Okada has repeatedly denied claims that he bribed Philippine gaming regulators to get a casino licence for Manila’s Entertainment City.
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