The trial involving Tsukasa Akimoto and 500.com continues, with prosecutors demanding jail time for Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato, two advisors who worked for the Chinese online gaming company and were accused of bribery.
The Tokyo District Court heard the closing arguments from the prosecution that stated, “Four bribes were made over a short period of time, and there was a deep relationship created for the purpose of receiving information about the considerations for the IR Development Act within the government and ruling party.” Prosecutors argued that it damaged the public perfection of the IR projects and are seeking an imprisonment sentence for the two advisors that were involved.
The defence maintained that no real harm has been done since 500.com didn’t get to participate in the actual IR bid race. The defendants cooperated with the investigation and even refused a bribe from Akimoto to falsify their testimonies.
Furthermore, 500.com recently announced its auditor Friedman LLP resigned and was replaced by MaloneBailey, LLP. The company released a statement, which says in part, “Friedman has elected to resign as the auditors of the company because of the disagreement with the management of the company on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting in light of certain alleged unlawful payments by three former consultants while they were engaged by the company in connection with the potential development of an integrated casino resort project in Japan.”