The prosecutors are seeking a 20-month prison sentence after the first trial of anime studio ufotable founder and former president Hikaru Kondo, indicted for violating the Corporation Tax Act and the Consumption Tax Act started on 17th September.
According to TBS, on Monday, the prosecution claimed that Kondo directed the company to fraudulent accounting when large profits were made and that the cover-up was “thorough and ingenious.”
He was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison for “denying the corporate responsibility of paying taxes in good faith.”
The final verdict will be held on December 10.
Kondo admitted to the charges laid out of violating the Corporation Tax Act and Consumption Tax Act by failing to pay 138 million yen (about US$1.25 million) in taxes at a preliminary hearing by the Tokyo District Court on September 17.
During the same hearing, Kondo issued an apology to his fans and other stakeholders, admitting that he thought his tax evasion would “not bring trouble to [ufotable].”
The prosecution said in its opening statement that ufotable and Kondo hid part of the income from the company’s cafes and merchandise from 2015 to 2018 in order to buffer against future downturns in business. The studio allegedly hid about 441 million yen (about US$4 million) in income.
After the formal indictment of Kondo and ufotable on July 9, ufotable acknowledged the indictment of the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office and gave assurances that the company had already filed a corrected tax return and paid the appropriate amount.
The Mainichi Shimbun reported last year that Kondo purportedly hid about 30% of the proceeds from some of ufotable’s anime-themed restaurants in Tokyo and stored them in a private safe at home.