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(Updates with lawsuit filed by Wynn in fifth paragraph.)
Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it redeemed director Kazuo Okada’s stake in the casino company and asked him to step down after a yearlong probe into his involvement with foreign gambling regulators.
The board asked Okada to resign as a director, the Las Vegas-based company said today in a statement. Wynn said it will also recommend that Okada be removed from the board of Wynn Macau Ltd.
An investigation by former Nevada Governor Robert Miller and Louis Freeh, the ex-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, into allegations that Okada violated U.S. anti- corruption laws uncovered cash payments and gifts worth about $110,000 to foreign gambling regulators, Wynn said.
Wynn said it redeemed the 24 million shares held by Aruze USA Inc., a company controlled by Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp., and issued a 10-year $1.9 billion promissory note for the shares. Universal Entertainment was Wynn’s biggest shareholder, with close to a 20 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Wynn also said it filed a lawsuit today in Nevada state court against Okada, Aruze USA and Universal Entertainment for breach of fiduciary duty and related offenses. Bloomberg News couldn’t immediately confirm the filing independently through electronic court records.
Okada couldn’t immediately be reached for comment by Bloomberg News at his headquarters in Tokyo.
--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Sylvia Wier
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