The Tokyo District Court on Friday found the Japanese anime firm known for producing the “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” series and its president guilty of evading a total of some ¥138 million ($1.2 million) in taxes.
Hikaru Kondo, the 52-year-old president of Ufotable Inc., was sentenced to 20 months in jail with a suspension of three years, and the anime production firm was ordered to pay a fine of ¥30 million.
Public prosecutors had sought a jail term of 20 months for Kondo and a fine of ¥40 million for the company.
According to the court’s ruling, Kondo hid a total of some ¥441 million in the company’s income in the three business years through August 2018, evading some ¥109.3 million in corporate taxes and some ¥28.9 million in consumption taxes.
Kondo, “as a business manager, cannot be exempted from strong criticism,” Judge Akiyuki Tanaka said in handing down the ruling.
Kondo had “a strong intent to evade taxes,” the judge concluded, pointing out that he persistently asked his wife, who was in charge of accounting, to falsify the company’s books although she against him doing this.
Meanwhile, the court gave Kondo a suspended term as he has already filed a revised tax return and completed payments of overdue taxes.
Ufotable is also known for producing the “Fate” series and other popular anime titles. It also operates anime-related dining establishments.
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