Kazuo Okada formerly held the director position at the top gambling company, Wynn Resorts Ltd., before he was fired from his position, reportedly by Steve Wynn himself. Okada was removed from the board of the casino operator and then forced to hand over his stake in the company which was a 20% stake.

It has been alleged that Okada was pushed out by Wynn, after his amicable divorce from Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn in 2010. Okada became the largest shareholder after Wynn tendered $741 million in stock to Elaine. Okada was trying to get out of coming to the United States for a deposition with the lawyers of Wynn Resorts, who are claiming that Okada was forced to leave due to being connected to a corruption probe.

On Thursday, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled to not overturn a ruling by a lower court that required Okada to come to Las Vegas and answer questions in the matter. Okada is required to appear for 10 days for questioning. The court agreed that the order for appearance was justified by a deposition in relation to a lawsuit from three years ago in which the lawyers of Wynn claim that multiple translators were needed as Okada was presenting obstructionist behavior and slowed down the case.

Okada currently lives in Hong Kong and is the Universal Entertainment Corp., Chairman. An investigation has been started by the Justice Department in the United States in regards to whether or not Okada used a subsidiary of Universal in the state of Nevada to funnel illegal payments to the former director of PAGCOR in the Philippines, where he is building one of the largest casinos in the world, Manila Bay Resorts.

The alleged bribery charges placed on Okada were the reason that Wynn Resorts found him ‘unsuitable’ for his position in 2012 and removed him from the board, according to Wynn lawyers. A promissory note of $1.9 billion was reportedly given to Okada based on his stake in the company, which he claims is about $800 million less than market value. According to Universal Entertainment, investigators in the Philippines did not find any evidence of bribery and they expect the investigation in the United States to close due to a lack of evidence.

 

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