PH gov’t to file fraud charges against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada

Photo: Okada Manila’s Facebook account

The Philippine government yesterday announced that it will file estafa (swindling) charges against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada, who allegedly took millions of dollars of unauthorized compensation when he was still the chief executive officer of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc.

In a resolution dated Dec. 7 but released to the media yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reversed an earlier ruling of the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office which junked the case against Okada, reported ABS-CBN.

A copy of the document posted by GMA News says that Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., the company which manages gaming resort Okada Manila, is accusing Okada of pocketing more than USD$3.158 million in consultancy fees and salaries allegedly without the authorization of its board of directors and in violation of the company’s by-laws.

At the same time, Tiger also accused its former chief operating officer Takahiro Usui of facilitating agreements that benefitted Okada without the approval of Tiger’s board of directors.

The same document stated that Okada maintains that the amounts were not misappropriated and were payments due to him.

Usui also maintains that the payments given to Okada were due to the latter and that there was no agreement between him and Okada to commit the alleged fraud.

However, the DOJ stated that the amount released to Okada was allegedly in violation of Tiger’s by-laws, and is “enough reason for us to believe that the amounts were not released properly.”

Reuters reported that Rean Balisi, Okada’s lawyer, will file a motion for reconsideration at the DOJ regarding its decision.

In June last year, Okada was fired by Tiger after its parent company, Universal Entertainment Corporation, accused him of misappropriating US$20 million, which he denied.

Okada was arrested in Hong Kong in August by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for “various corruption-related offenses.”

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