Investigation into casino titan Kazuo Okada’s business dealings extended

  • Investigation into Universal Entertainment Corporation founder to be extended
  • Kazuo Okada linked with two suspicious business dealings

Universal Entertainment Corporation have announced that an investigation into its founder, Kazuo Okada, is to be extended.

This is because two more somewhat suspicious business dealings have been uncovered and Universal feel the casino titan needs to be investigated further.

Kazuo Okada
Kazuo Okada

South Korea land transactions

One of these business dealings being investigated has to do with a loan approved by Okada Holdings Ltd. in February 2014 for ‘land transactions’ in South Korea. It appears that Okada used a Universal Entertainment Korea Ltd., Universal’s Korean wholly owned subsidiary, to create a security interest for an Okada Holdings Ltd. financing a deal for a land transaction worth $80 million.

Okada had supposedly borrowed the money for the deal from a financial institution whose name Universal has chosen not to disclose. Even though the security interest was closed in march 2014, Universal Entertainment Korea Ltd. was paid $170,000 – it was meant to have been disbursed by Okada Holdings Ltd.

Tiger Resort Asia withdrawal

The other business dealing involves the withdrawal of $16 million from a bank account belonging to casino resort company Tiger Resort Asia Ltd., a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Universal. Okada was a director at the time and the withdrawal was based on a check that Okada himself had issued. He is claimed to have withdrawn the money only a few days after issuing the check.

Okada’s past business dealings

Okada had previously been suspended by Universal early in June along with Yoshinao Negishi, the director and general manager of Universal’s Administrative Division. It had transpired that the two had possibly committed fraud by transferring a $17.3 million loan from Tiger Asia Resort Ltd. to a third party on March 20, 2015. Back in 2010, Okada was investigated by the FBI because of a payment of $40 million payment he supposedly made to a consultant in Manila.

Then in 2012, Okada was accused of violating anti-bribery laws as he had supposedly lavished Philippine land-based casino officials with expensive drinks and meals both in Las Vegas and Macau. Though Okada denied this accusations, he was subsequently let go from his role as Director of Wynn Resorts, a US casino operator.

Response from Universal

According to Universal, Okada approved both of these two transactions without carrying out the necessary procedures. This could well be seen as a ‘serious violation of governance’. A Special Investigation Committee is carrying out the investigation into these business dealings; it’s expected that the results will be announced on or around June 30.

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