Wynn Ex-Director Okada Must Come for 10-Day Vegas Grilling

  • Nevada Supreme Court rejects Okada's bid to avoid U.S. trip
  • Universal Entertainment chairman suing over forced redemption

Former Wynn Resorts Ltd. director Kazuo Okada failed to overturn a court order to come to Las Vegas for 10 days of questioning over events leading to his ouster from the casino operator’s board and the forcible redemption of his 20 percent stake in the company.

Okada alleged he was ousted by former business partner Steve Wynn because he had become the biggest shareholder after Wynn lost half his stake in a divorce. He was seeking to avoid coming to the U.S. for a deposition with Wynn Resorts lawyers, who have said he was forced out in connection with a corruption probe.

The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday refused to overturn a lower court’s order requiring Okada to answer questions for 10 days in the U.S. The justices agreed the order was justified by a deposition in a related lawsuit three years ago, which Wynn’s lawyers claim was slowed down by the need for multiple translators and “obstructionist behavior” by Okada’s lawyers.

Okada, the chairman of Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment Corp., lives in Hong Kong. The U.S. Justice Department started an investigation into whether he used a Universal subsidiary in Nevada to funnel illegal payments to gaming officials in the Philippines where he’s building a casino resort.

Based on the alleged bribery, Wynn Resorts found Okada “unsuitable” in 2012 and removed him from its board. He was given a $1.9 billion promissory note for his stake in the company, which he claims was about $800 million less than the market value.

Universal Entertainment said in March that Philippine investigators found no evidence of bribery and that it expected the U.S. investigation would be closed as well for lack of evidence.

The case is Okada v. The Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, 68310, Nevada Supreme Court.

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