Kazuo Okada faces arrest, maintains innocence

Kazuo Okada faces arrest, maintains innocence

A warrant of arrest has been issued against Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada in connection with a fraud case filed against him by the company he founded, local news outlets reported.

Kazuo Okada faces arrest, maintains innocenceThe Parañaque Regional Trial Court in Metro Manila also ordered the arrest of Takahiro Usui, former president of Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI), for his part in disbursing $3.1 million to Okada, who has maintained the amount to be salaries and consultancy fees that were rightfully earned and properly processed.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the court also ordered the police chiefs in the cities of Parañaque and Makati, along with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, to enforce the warrant. Bail was set at PHP348,000 (about $6,650) per respondent.

Inside Asian Gaming reported on Okada’s statements over the weekend, who maintained that no fraud was committed. It was not clear whether Okada had actually been served the warrants.

The charges, Okada said, were “only intended to destroy my reputation in the business community and discredit all the hard work I have put into the establishment, rise and success of Okada Manila, which is now operated by my accusers.”

Since his removal from the TRLEI board in June 2017, Okada’s son Tomohiro has had majority control of the company, which is controlled by Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC), which in turn is controlled by Okada Holdings Limited (OHL).

Last month, the Parañaque court, in a separate case, threw out Okada’s petition to regain his position in TRLEI. In addition, the national government, through the Department of Justice, overturned the findings of the Parañaque City Prosecutor, which had cleared Okada in its preliminary investigation.

The Justice department’s ruling read, “The fact that respondent Okada’s compensation under both agreements was determined in violation of complainant’s bylaws is enough reason for us to believe that the amounts were not released properly.”

Okada, in his latest statement, said, “How can I defraud the company that I own?… As owner of Okada Manila, it is absolutely absurd for me to ‘unlawfully take’ these salaries and fees.”

He also noted that he had invested over $2 billion in the Okada Manila casino resort. “How would I commit estafa [fraud] against TRLEI and Okada Manila for a measly amount of salaries when I was the one who established and caused the rise and success of Okada Manila?” he said.