Five more lawmakers entangled in IR bribery scandal

Japanese special prosecutor investigations of potential bribery by Shenzhen-based lottery firm 500 Dot Com have expanded to at least five additional lawmakers, including one of the most prominent pro-IR lawmakers in the nation, former Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, who has been a frequent speaker at IR promotion events.

Aside from arrested former state minister of the Cabinet Office Tsukasa Akimoto, prosecutors now suspect that five additional lawmakers received bribes of JPY1 million (about US$9,200) each, including Iwaya.

Katsunori Nakazato, an adviser to 500 Dot Com, has told investigators that he was the one who delivered these cash bribes to the five lawmakers.

Four of the five lawmakers are members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while the fifth belongs to the Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party.

Investigators believe that agents of 500 Dot Com illegally brought cash totalling JPY10 million (about US$92,000) into Japan in the summer of 2017, and then used most or all of this money to bribe the pro-IR lawmakers.

All of the accused lawmakers have so far maintained that they are innocent of the charges.

For its part, 500 Dot Com announced on December 31 that it had formed a Special Investigation Committee to internally investigate the bribery allegations, that Chairman Xudong Chen had resigned, and that CEO Zhengming Pan was temporarily stepping down for the duration of the internal investigation.

Shengwu Wu was elected to replace Chen as chairman.

Finally, the major Tokyo-based pachinko firm Gaia was raided by prosecutors in connection with the investigation of lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, although this appears to be a separate matter from any allegations surrounding 500 Dot Com and IR policy.

SHARE
Previous articleDonaco replaces its CFO
Next articleParadise Co revenue up 23.4 pct in 2019

Related Articles

500 Dot Com reports losses as its major problems remain unsolved

500 Dot Com reported substantial operating losses and at the same time made clear its statements that none of the major challenges it is facing has yet been solved. Net revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were RMB3.1 million (US$0.4 million), compared with RMB11.6 million for the first quarter of 2019, an 88 percent […]

500 Dot Com still waiting to resume crucial Sweden operations

Shenzhen-based online sports lottery service provider has announced that Swedish regulators continue to hold up its eGaming license to the financial detriment to the firm. The Multi Group, which is a Malta-based subsidiary of the company, has been awaiting the renewal of its eGaming license in Sweden, which formerly produced more than 60% of the […]

Zhengming Pan out at 500 Dot Com

A Sunday filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that former Director and CEO Zhengming Pan had resigned from 500 Dot Com, effective immediately. Tian Zhaofu was listed as Acting CEO of the Shenzhen-based sports lottery provider. The filing stated, “Pan was also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and Nominating and […]

500 Dot Com reorganizes Japan bribery investigation committee

500 Dot Com issued an announcement last Thursday that one of the four members of its Special Investigation Committee on the Japan bribery allegations has already stepped down and that a law firm has been hired as an advisor to the committee.

Most Japanese want reconsideration of casino legalization

Public opinion polls taken in the wake of the 500 Dot Com bribery scandal agree that a large majority of the Japanese people want the government to reconsider its policy of casino legalization.

Lawmaker Akimoto faces rearrest on additional casino bribery charges

As he reaches the 23-day limit of his detention over charges that he accepted 3 million yen (about US$28,000) in bribes from the Chinese lottery firm 500 Dot Com, prosecutors reportedly plan to rearrest former State Minister for the Cabinet Office Tsukasa Akimoto, now believing that the bribes were more than double what they initially suspected.

500 suspends lottery operations in Sweden

Chinese lottery service provider 500 dot com, says it has temporarily suspended its operations in Sweden, as it failed to renew its license before its expiry.  The Multi Group (TMG), a Malta-based subsidiary of the company has been in close communication with the Sweden eGaming regulatory authority and expects to renew its license and resume […]

Lawmaker admits bribery, resigns from Osaka party

Mikio Shimoji has become the first Japanese lawmaker to admit receiving a bribe from Chinese lottery firm 500 Dot Com, and has applied to resign from the Japan Innovation Party, led by Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, over his transgression.

Japan casino scandal deepens with lawmaker arrest

The scandal over Chinese firm 500 Dot Com’s IR lobbying activities in Japan deepened considerably with former Cabinet Office state minister Tsukasa Akimoto being arrested on bribery charges and two other ruling party lawmakers’ offices raided by prosecutors.

500.com Q3 net loss narrows on lower expenses

Lottery service provider 500.com saw its net loss narrow in 19Q3, due mainly to a year-on-year reduction in operating expenses.  Net revenues decreased 67.4 percent year-n-year to RMB9.8 million, with revenues consisting mainly from the company’s online lottery betting and online casino in Europe through TMG. The company said the revenue decline was due mainly […]