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Tiger Resort sues former chiefs for perjury, estafa

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By Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz

TIGER Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI), the company behind Okada Manila, has filed separate perjury and estafa complaints against Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada.

The complaint filed Dec. 6, 2017, by Hajime Tokuda, director and chief operating officer (COO) of Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), alleged that Mr. Okada illegally disbursed company funds amounting to $3 million, supposedly for his consultancy fees and salaries as chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, through Takahiro Usui, then TRLEI president and COO, who was also named respondent in the complaint.

TRLEI said there was no Board resolution approving the disbursement of funds.

The company said: “Mr. Okada, taking advantage of his power and influence, as then most senior officer of TRLEI, fraudulently received TRLEI’s corporate funds (of at least $3,158,835.62) as supposed salaries and consultancy fee, which were not authorized, much less approved, by TRLEI’s Board of Directors. As said corporate funds were wrongfully received or acquired by Mr. Okada without authority and through fraud, he holds the $3,158,835.62, by operation of law, in trust for, and thus, under legal obligation to return the same to, TRLEI.”

TRLEI stated that Messrs. Okada and Usui “upon demand, failed to account for and return the $3,158,835.62.”

“When property is delivered even by mistake, the recipient has the obligation to return it. If he refuses to do so despite demand, he is guilty of estafa (by embezzlement),” TRLEI stated.

A second estafa case involved a $7 million contract awarded to Azure Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (APMI) to supply LED fixtures to Okada Manila.

Mr. Okada, who owns APMI, and former TRLEI chief technology officer (CTO) Kengo Takeda allegedly conspired and insisted that TRLEI give the contract to APMI.

However, the LED fixtures were found to be defective and it was found that APMI was not authorized to manufacture lighting materials.

“The influence and intercession of Mr. Okada and Mr. Takeda pushed Complainant TRLEI to engage Respondent APMI’s services,” the complaint stated, adding that “any gains and benefits derived by APMI redounded to Mr. Okada’s personal benefit and advantage.”

In the perjury complaint, on the other hand, TRLEI alleged that Messrs. Okada and Usui made false statements under oath.

In questioning their ouster from Okada Manila, the two respondents claimed that TRLEI did not submit an updated General Information Sheet for 2017 before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and that the company implemented a mass layoff.

However, TRLEI countered such claims, saying it submitted the documents to the SEC on July 3, 2017, and that there was no mass layoff. As opposed to Messrs. Okada and Usui’s statements, TRLEI said it is hiring more workers and not forcing shops at Okada Manila to close.

TRLEI added that as Messrs. Okada and Usui were both removed from office on June 2017, they have “no personal knowledge” of the resort’s operations.

“Respondents [Okada and Usui] have had no personal involvement in the management of Okada Manila since their removal, and thus, have no personal knowledge about Okada Manila’s present operations. Yet, Respondents willfully and deliberately made the foregoing false statements, fully aware that they have no personal knowledge thereof or supporting documents therefore, as, indeed, these statements are completely perjurious,” the complaint noted.