Sonic co-creator could face more than two years in prison on insider trading charges
Highlights of the story
- Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka could face up to two and a half years in prison, as well as a hefty fine of 2.5 million yen and 170 million yen. He was arrested for insider trading.
- Prosecutors have argued that Yuji Naka was undermining other investors by using his position to gain an advantage over competition and obtain illegal profits.
- The defense is seeking to reduce the hefty fine, arguing that the popular game developer did not actively use the insider trading information.
- Yuji Naka has been arrested several times in the past for similar claims. He would buy shares in companies before their games were released to the public, in order to sell them for a profit.
The co-creator of the Sonic the Hedgehog series has reportedly been arrested and could face hefty fines as well as hefty fines for insider trading charges. Originally reported by a Japanese site Defaminicogamer, Yuji Naka could be behind bars for more than two years after being charged with similar crimes last year. He has been accused of buying shares of several companies in March this year and has confessed.
Yuji Naka’s defense is asking for a reduced sentence and a suspended sentence. They say the inside information was sent to them by mistake. Yuji Naka also apologized. He hasn’t been punished yet! Which will come next month.
— Genki✨ (@Genki_JPN) June 1, 2023
During the trial, the prosecutor claimed that Yuji Naka was using his position to harm other investors, giving him a significant advantage over others. Thus, Sonic’s co-creator made illegal profits, potentially landing him behind bars for more than two and a half years. A fine has also been imposed on him. 2.5 million yen And 170 million yenwhich turns into $17,920 And $1,218,730, respectively, at the time of writing.
On the other hand, the defense is trying to seek a suspended sentence while also trying to reduce the heavy fine. Yuji Naka’s defense has used the argument that he did not actively look for insider trading information.
Allegations of insider trading began to surface last year at Square Enix, where he was first accused of buying thousands of shares for the Aiming Dub company before a mobile project called Dragon Quest Tact went public. A similar situation occurred soon after, with Yuji Naka accused of buying shares in ATeam Entertainment’s mobile title before it came out. He was accused of knowing about the plans ahead of time.
The co-creator of Sonic almost made a big purchase. 120,000 shares ATeam Entertainment’s The First Soldier was publicly announced to the world ahead of the mobile project Final Fantasy VII. In all of these cases, it was suspected that Naka wanted to sell the shares as soon as their value increased after the game went public, which also suggests that he was privy to the revelations of unannounced projects. They already knew.
Hence, he worked with Square Enix from 2016 to 2021, even after the release of the famous flop, Ballon Wonderland, which is exactly when his relationship with the giant began to sour. He was subsequently fired or let go on his own with claims that he was removed from the director’s role before the title was even launched. Regardless, he sued Square Enix with a pinch of derogatory comments.
While initially, fans supported Yuji Naka’s version of the story. Many gamers have started to realize the illegal activities of the famous game developer in the last few months. It remains to be seen whether Naka will serve the full sentence or reduce the fine and jail term. The court will take the final decision on July 7.
Yuji Naka has come a long way in the world of video games. From co-creating one of the world’s most famous mascots to embarking on a villainous arc that will likely land him in prison, Yuji’s life is full of wild, albeit somewhat illegal, experiences. The creator has been arrested several times before on insider trading charges, but now he has finally been reprimanded with a hefty fine and a possible sentence of more than two years this time.
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