Estafa cases against Okada dismissed
Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada scored twin legal victories against his former gaming firm, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., the company behind Okada Manila, one of three integrated casino resorts in Pagcor Entertainment City in Parañaque.
In separate resolutions, the City Prosecutor’s office of Parañaque dismissed “for lack of probable cause” two estafa complaints against the gaming tycoon.
The first complaint alleged Okada had released $3.15 million in company funds for himself and several associates as salaries and consultancy fees, while the second involved the payment of $7.09 million to Aruze Philippines Manufacturing, an Okada company that supplied allegedly defective LED strip lights to the casino.
In dismissing the complaints, the court said the legal controversies were civil in nature in the form of intracorporate disputes.
“A legal remedy may lie before appropriate forum or fora taking into consideration the intracorporate nature of the instant complaint but definitely not before this very office since it only receives complaints that are criminal in nature,” City Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac said regarding the first complaint.
The first case that was dismissed on May 11 involved Okada and Takahiro Usui, Tiger Resort’s former chief operating officer and president. The company sued its two former executives for the alleged unauthorized release of company funds supposedly as salaries and consultancy fees of Okada as CEO.
The company claimed that Okada ordered the disbursement of its funds to himself through Usui’s “indispensable cooperation as president and COO by approving, causing and permitting payment to respondent Okada.”
The amount was released in tranches from April 2017 to May 2017, but Tiger Resorts said its board did not authorize the disbursement. It said the respondents allegedly failed to return the amount.
In his defense, Okada said he owned the money as his salary and consultancy fee and that receipt of the amount was proper and legal, since respondent Usui had the authority to determine and approve the salary or compensation he was entitled to receive as company CEO and consultant.
The second complaint, which was dismissed last May 15, involved Tiger Resort and Okada, the latter’s company Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and associates Kengo Takeda and Tetsuya Yokota.
Tiger Resort chief executive adviser Dindo Espeleta alleged that Okada and Aruze provided defective LED strip lights for use in Okada Manila. He said Aruze was one of the companies that submitted a proposal and was awarded the contract to install the casino’s LED strips for a contract price of $4.5 million.
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