Three weeks after Universal Entertainment Corporation launched an investigation into the involvement of veteran Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada into alleged illegal transfers of company cash and the 74-year-old has reportedly been removed as the firm’s Chairman.
According to a report from the Reuters news service, Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment Corporation, which is a manufacturer of pachinko, slot machine and arcade games, took the decision to get rid of Okada at its annual shareholder’s meeting on Thursday while subsequently appointing a slate of new directors.
Osaka-listed Universal Entertainment Corporation is also the firm behind Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, which is responsible for the giant Okada Manila integrated casino resort in the Philippines, and is reportedly looking into allegations that the billionaire was involved in the transfer of just over $17.93 million from the Hong Kong-based subordinate to a “third party” without first going through the “proper internal decision-making process.”
It has moreover been alleged that septuagenarian Okada, who was last week removed as Chairman for Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, may have been connected to two additional instances of “illegal activities” that involved the movement of approximately $2.22 million with all of these claims now being investigated by a three-member “special investigation committee consisting of external experts.”
“I think [Kazuo] Okada is unfit to be in management of a public company,” read a private letter written by Jun Fujimoto, President for Universal Entertainment Corporation, and seen by Reuters just before the start of the shareholders meeting. “I’m confident that I can prove that with irrefutable physical evidence.”
Reuters reported that the meeting also saw shareholders approve the appointment of 59-year-old Fujimoto’s wife, Takako, as a director and add an external director while bringing back a former finance executive.
Although barred from attending the shareholders’ get-together due to his stake in Universal Entertainment Group being indirectly held via a holding company, Okada was nevertheless reportedly on hand to tell reporters that he had “done nothing wrong.”
“I’ve been barred from the meeting in the name of this investigative panel and allegations that are a bunch of nonsense,” Okada reportedly told those outside the meeting.