Tokyo prosecutors have indicted anime studio Ufotable and its founder Hikaru Kondo for evading around $1.2 million in taxes. NHK and ANN News reports that between 2015 and 2018, the studio and Kondo hid around 4 million dollars in company earnings. According to sources, the president had a secret stash of cash at home in a personal safe.
Charges were filed last year against the studio and Kondo with allegations of violating Japan’s corporate and consumption tax laws. The charges alleged that the studio underreported the income and sales earned from Ufotable-owned anime cafes (above, pictured). At the time, Jiji Press reported that the studio apologized, stating, “We’re committed to complying with laws and conducting appropriate operations to create an environment to make sustainable, better works.”
Kondo founded Ufotable in 2000, and the studio has created a number of notable anime, including the Fate/stay Night series as well as animated adaptations for the Tales franchise. The company has also collaborated with Bandai Namco on a number of Tales games, doing opening animations and cutscenes. Most recently, the studio did the Demon Slayer anime adaptations, including the massively successful feature film.
According to a Bunshun Digital (via ANN) report from 2019, the studio also allegedly misappropriated charity funds, which is a violation that can carry a ten-year prison sentence. Charges were ultimately not filed.
During all of this, the 51-year-old Kondo has remained the president of Ufotable.
Today, the studio issued yet another apology to fans, adding that the amended returns have been filed with the full amount repaid. Ufotable says is working harder to be compliant with tax laws.