Asia Casino

Asia Casino

January 13, 2022

Philippines Court Tosses Kazuo Okada Fraud Charges, Quashes Arrest Warrant

The Philippines Court of Appeals has quashed fraud charges against the Japanese gaming billionaire Kazuo Okada. In the same breath, it overturned a lower court ruling that found he should stand trial for allegedly misappropriating more than US$3 million from his former company, Tiger Resorts, operator of the Okada Manila integrated resort.

With echoes of HBO’s Succession, “Pachinko King” Kazuo Okada was ousted from the company he founded in a boardroom coup orchestrated by members of his family.

The order was given on Dec. 9 but has only now come to light via a report by The Manilla Bulletin. The court found that Okada, 79, had not misappropriated the money in question. It was paid to him by Tiger Resorts “in consideration for services rendered as consultant and CEO.”

In his ruling, Associate Justice Alfredo D. Ampuan wrote that the lower court had committed an “abuse of discretion” when it issued arrest warrants for Okada and his right-hand man, Takahiro Usui, in March 2018.

“There was lack of probable cause to issue warrants of arrest because not all the elements of the crime of estafa [fraud] was proved,” Ampuan wrote.