500.com Trial Continues With Advisors Facing Prison

The trial involving Tsukasa Akimoto and 500.com continues, with prosecutors seeking prison time for Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato, two consultants who worked and were accused of bribery for the Chinese online gaming business.

The Tokyo District Court heard the prosecution’s closing arguments, which 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 the public perfection of the IR ventures was impaired and are seeking a prison sentence for the two involved advisors.

Since 500.com did not get to compete in the actual IR bid race, the defence maintained that no real damage was done. The defendants cooperated with the investigation and even declined to falsify their testimony with a bribe from Akimoto.

In addition, 500.com recently announced the departure of its auditor, Friedman LLP, and was replaced by MaloneBailey, LLP. The company released a statement that, in part, says: “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.”