The verdict of the case against the founder of the ufotable studio Hikaru Kondo and the animation studio in question was transmitted today in Tokyo District Court, the court finding that Kondo is guilty of violating the corporation tax law evading more than 138 million yen (US $ 1.25 million) in taxes.
Kondo has been sentenced to 20 months in prison, including three years suspended while ufotable has been fined 30 million yen (approximately US $ 265,000). ufotable posted a statement to confirm Japanese media news on its website:
“Today our company and a representative were convicted of violating corporate tax laws. We sincerely apologize to our fans who supported our work, as well as all other parties involved, for any concern or inconvenience caused by it.
We will use this incident to redouble our efforts to ensure our compliance with laws and regulations as well as proper management to create a sustainable production environment to create better works. “
ufotable already has confirmed that they refunded the amount of tax owed to the Japanese authorities, which they did when the charges against the animation studio and the founder were filed.
For Kondo, he was convicted of transferring income from Tokyo-based cafes run by ufotable to a safe in his home, making false income tax returns in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and concealing about 441 million yen ($ 4 million) from The Tokyo Regional Tax Office. This allowed Kondo (at the time) to escape paying around 109 million yen (990,413) in corporate tax and 28 million yen (254,437) in consumption tax, for a total of over 138 million yen ($ 1.25 million).
In a statement from the Tokyo District Court, they said Kondo’s wife was the company’s accountant and was reluctant to falsify the books in order to evade tax even though he was telling her. had “constantly asked” to do so, proving that “his intention to evade tax was firm.”
When delivering the verdict, Kondo said “it is difficult to avoid strong condemnation as a business leader in the face of an uncertain financial future.”
Prosecutors were originally to a fine of 40 million yen (approximately US $ 352,000) for tax evasion, with a sentence of 20 months in prison without suspension for the founder of the studio.