Fraud charges against Kazuo Okada dismissed again by Philippine Court

The Philippines Court of Appeals initially dismissed fraud charges against Okada last December.
The Philippines Court of Appeals initially dismissed fraud charges against Okada last December.

The Philippines Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its decision to dismiss fraud charges against Kazuo Okada and his partner Takahiro Usui.

The Philippines.- The Philippines Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its December decision to dismiss fraud charges against Kazuo Okada and his partner Takahiro Usui over the alleged misappropriation of more than US$3m from Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI), the operator of the Okada Manila casino resort. The court has also confirmed the quashing of arrest warrants against Okada and Usui.

In 2018, the Philippine Department of Justice filed three fraud charges against Okada after he was awarded US$3.15m in salary and consulting fees as CEO of TRLEI “through error or fraud”

Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment – controlled by Japan-listed Universal Entertainment Corp, which was also founded by Okada – alleged that he was illegally paid US$3m in company money without board approval, reportedly for his consulting work and salary.

In June 2017, Okada and COO Takahiro Usui were kicked off the board of TRLEI. Okada was also removed from the board of parent company Universal Japan Entertainment. However, in late Apri of this yearl, the Philippine Supreme Court issued an order restoring the composition of TRLEI’s board of directors to the level it was before Okada was ousted. 

Okada’s team took over Okada Manila on May 31. Since then a dispute over the control of TRLEI has started in the country’s Supreme Court, between Okada and Universal Entertainment Corp. A few days ago, Universal Entertainment Corp announced that it will file criminal charges against Kazuo Okada and his team in Hong Kong following their take over of Okada Manila. 

According to Universal Entertainment, Hong Kong-registered Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRA) is the parent company that holds 99.9 per cent of the voting rights of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI).

The company said: “TRA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company and […] the directors of TRA are appointed by the company are recognized by the authorities under Hong Kong law and registered and publicly disclosed in Hong Kong.”

Universal claims that Okada’s behaviour amounts to a violation of Hong Kong law and said it intends to file charges relating to the falsification of official documents, fraud and embezzlement.

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