LOS ANGELES May 3 Wynn Resorts Ltd
said on Thursday its legal battle with Kazuo Okada has been put
on hold for six months to allow U.S. prosecutors to pursue a
criminal investigation into possible bribery by Okada and his
companies in the Philippines.
Wynn said that Clark County District Judge Elizabeth
Gonzalez issued the ruling granting a request made by federal
prosecutors last month seeking a temporary stay on discovery
in civil proceedings between Wynn and Okada so as not to
disrupt an ongoing criminal probe.
Wynn declined to elaborate further on the court ruling.
Representatives for Okada in the United States and Japan
were not immediately available for comment.
For more than a year Okada has been locked in a legal battle
with Wynn Resorts Chief Executive Steve Wynn, during which the
former business partners have exchanged allegations of illegal
Okada and his companies are under investigation in the
United States for potential violations of anti-bribery laws in
relation to a $2 billion casino project in the Philippines,
according to a court filing made last month by U.S. federal
That filing was the first time U.S. authorities publicly
acknowledged a criminal investigation of Okada and his companies
- Japan's Universal Entertainment Corp and
Nevada-based Aruze USA Inc - for possible violations of the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery statute.
Okada has denied any wrongdoing in the Philippines and said
he was ousted from the Wynn board for opposing Wynn Resorts'
$135 million donation in 2011 to the University of Macau
Okada has called for an investigation into the donation,
noting that it was followed soon after by the granting of land
concessions in Macau.
In a footnote in last month's filing U.S. prosecutors said
they were also conducting an investigation into the Macau
donation, without elaborating.
Wynn Resorts has said the donation was proper, and in
February said it had been informed by the Nevada Gaming Control
Board that its investigation into the matter had found Okada's