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Japan – Tokyo High Court rejects Okada appeal over Universal fraud

By - 21 September 2020

Universal Entertainment Founder and former owner Kazuo Okada has had his appeal against alleged fraud he committed whilst in the hot seat of his former company kicked out by the Tokyo High Court.

The High Court lent its support to a decision made by the Tokyo District Court earlier this year demanding he pay damages of JPY21.3m(US$193,000) for three alleged acts of fraud against the company. Universal filed the suit three years ago following an internal investigation that concluded Mr. Okada had committed fraud. The fraud charges included a HK$135m loan from Universal subsidiary Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRA) to a third party in 2015, arranged by Okada, to obtain funds for his personal use, an unauthorised check for HK$16m from Tiger Resort Asia; and changing the business that was buying land for an integrated resort in Korea from TRA subsidiary UE Korea to his own wholly-owned company, Okada Holdings Korea Co Ltd, for his personal gain.

Universal said: “A judgment dismissing the appeal of Mr. Kazuo Okada, former Director of the company, 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 as the appellee. Mr. Okada had contested and appealed a judgement rendered by the Tokyo District Court on February 13, 2020 that accepted all of the claims of the Company as the plaintiff, which had filed a damage suit against Mr. Okada.”

“As a result of the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Committee established by the company, it became clear that Mr. Okada committed the following three fraudulent acts. In response to these facts coming to light, the company had filed a damage suit with the Tokyo District Court claiming compensation against Mr. Okada for part of damages suffered by the company due to his negligence of duty as a Director of the company. In this case, the Tokyo District Court, acknowledging that the Fraudulent Acts were conducted under the order of Mr. Okada, also acknowledged that Mr. Okada breached both his duty of care of a good manager and his fiduciary duty of loyalty as a Director of the company, and accepted all claims of the company,” it added.

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