TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Universal Entertainment
Corp said on Thursday it had filed a criminal complaint in the
Philippines against the chairman of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn,
accusing him of libel over allegations of improper payments.
The complaint relates to allegations in an internal
investigation, the results of which were published on Wynn
It is the latest twist in a nearly year-long quarrel between
Universal founder Kazuo Okada and Wynn. They have sued each
other in the United States, and Okada has filed a defamation
suit against his former partner in Japan.
Universal, Japan's largest maker of pachinko gaming
machines, said in a statement it had filed the complaint through
Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, a subsidiary in the
Philippines that has been granted a provisional license to
operate a $2 billion casino it is developing on Manila Bay.
Wynn in a statement on Thursday said the lawsuit was just
the latest in a series of desperate actions by Okada.
"This ridiculous and spurious action is just the latest
baseless threat in Mr. Okada's increasingly desperate campaign
to divert public attention from his deepening legal troubles in
multiple jurisdictions," Wynn said in the emailed statement.
In February, Wynn stripped Okada of a 20 percent
shareholding in Wynn Resorts through Okada's U.S. subsidiary,
Aruze. Wynn Resorts said Okada was unsuitable to continue as a
board member of the company after an internal investigation
alleged Okada appeared to have violated U.S. anti-corruption
laws through payments it had made.
Details of the investigation, by former FBI Director Louis
Freeh, appear on Wynn Resorts' website.
"The investigation was clearly an afterthought and was
commissioned for the purpose of providing justification for the
baseless findings of the Compliance Committee," Universal said
in a press release on Thursday.
Universal said Okada was ousted because he objected to a
$135 million donation made by Wynn Resorts in Macau.
In early December, Okada and Universal said they had filed a
libel action against Reuters and others over news articles
relating to payments Universal made to an ex-consultant to the
Philippine gaming authority.
(Additional reporting by Sue Zeidler)
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