Okada not yet off the hook

  • Written by Efren Montano
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 265

JAPANESE gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada is not yet off the hook in the $10 million embezzlement cases despite the controversial resolutions by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Paranaque dismissing them.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the resolutions by Paranaque City Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac will still be subject of motions for reconsideration or petitions for review by complainant Tiger Resorts Leisure & Entertainment Inc., owner of Okada Manila hotel-resort complex, before the Department of Justice.

Guevarra said the resolutions may be reversed if the DoJ finds basis to overturn them.

“If upon review the DoJ sees it differently, the resolutions may be set aside, reversed or modified accordingly,” the DoJ chief said.

The controversy arising from the leakage of the Paudac resolution of May 11 which forced the investigating fiscal to inhibit himself, prompted the DoJ to take over the estafa cases. The leakage is now being looked into by the National Bureau of Investigation.

Guevarra said he will designate a new state prosecutor to handle the cases as soon as he gets the complete records from the Office of the City Prosecutor.

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. has also recused from the cases following petition from Tiger Resort.

In March, Catalan approved a resolution junking perjury charges against Okada and the company’s former president Takahiro Usui.

Okada, who is subject of a lookout bulletin order issued by the DoJ, served as chief executive officer of TRLEI, local subsidiary of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), was booted out of the company in June last year and subsequently sued for estafa.

In one estafa case, TRLEI accused Okada of illegal disbursement of company funds amounting to $3 million, without the approval of the board, supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries during his one-month tenure as CEO

TRLEI alleged that Okada himself -- within a span of just one month -- caused the disbursement of the corporate funds through his accomplice, Takahiro Usui, who was then TRLEI president and chief operating officer and who was also a respondent in the complaint.

The other estafa case involves the supply of light emitting diode (LED) fixtures to Okada Manila by Okada’s personal company, Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc (APMI).

TRLEI alleged that the $7-million supply contract was given to APMI upon the behest of Okada, in conspiracy with his close associate, Kengo Takeda, who was the former Chief Technology Officer of TRLEI.