Philippine prosecutors junk perjury, fraud cases vs Kazuo Okada

Philippine prosecutors junk perjury, fraud cases vs Kazuo Okada

Philippine prosecutors have tossed the perjury and fraud cases that Universal Entertainment filed against Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada.

Philippine prosecutors junk perjury, fraud cases vs Kazuo OkadaDocuments obtained by show that the City Prosecutors of Makati and Paranaque Cities have cleared Okada of any criminal liabilities after government lawyers failed to find any probable cause to send the complaint of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), a subsidiary of Universal, to the lower court.

In the first complaint filed in Makati City, TRLEI accused Okada and former Tiger Resort President and Chief Operating Officer Takahiro Usui of besmirching the company’s name, claiming he made false allegations that TRLEI laid off Okada Manila employees.

Philippine Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Renato Pambid frowned at the perjury complaint, saying he is “not convinced that there is sufficient evidence to support a conclusion that the respondents’ assertion of a falsehood was willfully and deliberately made.”

“There is insufficient evidence to show that at the time the respondents made assertions, they were aware that such facts were false,” Pambid said.

The second criminal case against Okada stemmed from his decision to award a $7-million supply contract for the installation of LED fixtures in Okada Manila to his own company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc.

In a seven-page resolution, Paranaque City Prosecutor Romeo Bautista IV ruled that the “facts in the case are insufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime of Estafa (fraud) has been committed.”

Bautista also noted that the case is civil in nature, not criminal.

“The instant complaint must be recommended dismissed, the contractual relation being discussed being completely inconsistent with the presence and negating the existence of estafa,” the prosecutor ruled.

Kazuo Okada welcomed the dismissal of the cases, saying that the decisions were a vindication of his belief that the allegations were part of Universal’s campaign to ruin his reputation.

“The documents speak for themselves. Universal has been exposed again as engaging in smear tactics designed to harm Mr. Okada’s good name. Their baseless allegation in Hong Kong has been exposed, now two more baseless allegations in the Philippines have been exposed as well,” Okada’s representative told in an e-mailed statement.

TRLEI had asked the Paranaque prosecutor to recuse itself from handling the $1 million estafa case it lodged against Okada. The TRLEI called out City Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac’s alleged bias and gross partiality, accusing the government lawyer of leaking his office’s resolution dismissing two separate estafa complaints ahead of the official release of the ruling.

“Resolutions purportedly disposing the captioned cases in favor of respondent Okada have apparently been leaked… as shown by the unlawful publication thereof in the Facebook and Instagram accounts of his (Okada’s) close companion, Chloe Kim, although said resolutions have not been officially released,“ TRLEI alleged in its pleading.

Universal launched its probe of Okada and Yoshinao Negishi, former director and general manager of Universal’s administrative division, last year due to suspicions that several directors of the company illegally released an estimated JPY2 billion ($17.74 million) from a subsidiary without going through proper internal decision-making process.

The gaming company concluded its three-month probe into the multi-million dollar outflows in September, with investigators declaring that the Japanese billionaire had committed fraud on three separate occasions. Last month, Universal announced that the company had installed new measures to prevent a repeat of the incident.