Ufotable Founder and Studio Convicted of Tax Evasion, Founder Gets 20 Month Prison Term With 3 Year Suspended Sentence

Ufotable was fined 30 million yen (around US$265,000)

ufotable

 

The verdict for the case against ufotable studio founder Hikaru Kondo and the anime studio in question was handed down today in the Tokyo District Court, with the court finding that Kondo is guilty of violating the Corporation Tax Act by evading more than 138 million yen (US$1.25 million) in taxes.

 

Kondo has been sentenced to 20 months in prison with a three-year suspended sentence while ufotable has been given a fine of 30 million yen (around US$265,000). ufotable released a statement confirming the news from the Japanese media on its website:

 

"Today, our company and a representative have been convicted of violating corporate tax laws. We sincerely apologize to our fans who have been supporting our works, as well as to all other parties involved, for any concern or inconvenience caused by this.

 

We will take this incident as an opportunity to make further efforts to ensure our compliance with laws and regulations as well as proper management to create a production environment that is sustainable to create better works."

 

ufotable has already confirmed that they have paid back the amount of tax owed to authorities in Japan, having done so when the charges against the anime studio and founder were laid down. 

 

For Kondo, he was convicted of moving income from Tokyo-based cafes run by ufotable to a safe in his home, making false income tax statements in 2015, 2017, and 2018, and concealing about 441 million yen (US$4 million) from The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau. This let Kondo evade (at the time) paying around 109 million yen (US$990,413) in corporate tax, and 28 million yen (US$254,437) in consumption tax, totaling more than 138 million yen (US$1.25 million). 

 

In a statement from the Tokyo District Court, they said that Kondo's wife was the accountant for the company and was reluctant in falsifying the books in order to evade taxes even as he "persistently instructed" her to do so, proving that "his intention to evade taxes was firm."

 

Prosecutors were originally looking to fine ufotable 40 million yen (around US$352,000) for the evasion of taxes, with a 20-month prison term without a suspended sentence for the studio founder. 

 

Sources: TV Asahi, Nikkan Sports, Ufotable

 

 

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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram. 

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