Okada seeks reconsideration of DOJ position
Japanese gaming magnate Kazuo Okada has asked the Department of Justice to reconsider what he claimed to be an “erroneous” estafa indictment against him and a former associate, arguing that there was no proof of misappropriation, much less evidence of any conspiracy.
In a motion for reconsideration filed at the DOJ on Dec. 19, Okada argued that in indicting him for estafa, the DOJ ignored crucial evidence that the money he received had been authorized as salaries by Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) itself.
In a resolution issued by the DOJ, Okada was accused of receiving the amount in trust and that compensation had not been authorized by complainant TRLEI. The amount in question was about $3.16 million.
Okada—which has a 34.41-percent beneficial interest in TRLEI— was ousted as chair, CEO and director of this company and removed from ultimate parent firm Universal Entertainment Corp. last year on allegations of “fraudulent” acts.
He countered that he did not receive the amount but claimed he had lawfully acquired and earned them as salaries for April and May 2017 and consultancy fee for 2017 as CEO and consultant of TRLEI.
The subject amount had been lawfully earned and was neither acquired through mistake nor secured through fraud as to constitute an implied trust within the contemplation of Article 1456 of the Civil Code, Okada’s motion stated.
He claimed that lawyer Joseph Joemer Perez, TRLEI vice president for legal and compliance department, was the one who prepared, finalized or at least approved these agreements before they were signed by then TRLEI COO Takahiro Usui, the other respondent in the case.
“Atty. Perez coordinated with then director and head of business administration, Yoshinao Negishi, on the details of these agreements, including Mr. Okada’s compensation. It was Bora Lee, complainant’s corporate planning officer, who handed Mr. Usui these agreements and instructed the latter to sign them,” the motion stated.
Okada argued: “There can be no estafa through misappropriation when the money received by the respondent was neither used for a particular purpose nor meant to be returned.” —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
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