The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended charges be filed against Kazuo Okada for alleged fraud during his tenure as Chairman of Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI).
The DOJ’s resolution was made public on Monday and reverses a ruling by the Office of the City Prosecutor in Parañaque in May dismissing fraud charges laid against the controversial Japanese gaming mogul.
Okada is accused of acquiring more than US$3 million through three instances of “mistake or fraud” before he was ousted from the board following discovery of the anomalies in 2017.
TRLEI’s parent company, Universal Entertainment Corp, first alleged in June last year that it had uncovered evidence that Okada had transferred HK$135 million on 20 March 2015 from Tiger Resort Asia Ltd to a third party. HK$130 million was then transferred to Okada Holdings Ltd with the purpose of achieving “personal benefit for Chairman Okada.”
Two more alleged instances of fraud were discovered a month later, including a US$80 million bank loan granted to Okada Holdings Ltd – a company entirely owned by Okada and his relatives of which Okada was the only director at the time – in February 2014 for the purchase of land in Korea, and the issuance of a bearer check in the amount of HK$16 million from a bank account under the name of Tiger Resort Asia Limited in 2015. Okada is alleged to have then withdrawn HK$16 million from a Tiger Resort Asia Limited account based on this check three days later.
The Philippine DOJ stated in its resolution this week that the US$3 million amount to which Okada is said to have benefited was not approved by the TRLEI board as required by the company’s by-laws.
“Such actions … in violation of the complainant’s by-laws is enough probable cause to conclude that the release of amounts were irregular and done to the prejudice of the complainant,” the resolution states.
In a recent lengthy interview with Inside Asian Gaming, Okada claimed he had been set up by factions within Universal Entertainment Corp and outlined his intent to eventually regain control of the company.