December 17, 2018 / 10:50 AM / 2 years ago

Philippines seeks fraud charges against Japan casino mogul Okada

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of charges against Japanese pachinko billionaire Kazuo Okada for allegedly misappropriating over $3 million from the operator of the Okada Manila casino.

The DOJ, in a resolution dated Dec. 7 and made public on Monday, said it found cause to indict Okada for three counts of swindling after he acquired “through mistake or fraud” $3.15 million in salary and consultancy fees during his tenure as chief executive of Tiger Resort.

Tiger Resort previously said the payments were facilitated by its former president and were not authorised by its board. On Monday, it said it has not received the resolution and so declined to comment.

Rean Balisi, Okada’s legal counsel, said he will file a motion for reconsideration at the DOJ. Okada has previously referred to the dispute as an internal matter.

Okada last year was ousted as chairman of Tiger Resort’s parent, the Japanese gaming group Universal Entertainment Corp (6425.T), after Universal’s board accused him of misappropriating $20 million. Okada denied wrongdoing.

He was arrested in Hong Kong in August in relation to multiple corruption-related charges and is currently on bail.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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