We won’t know what will happen to Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and former Square Enix employee Yuji Naka until next month, when a Japanese court’s judgment is set to be handed down for his alleged insider trading. However, Taisuke Sasaki—another former Square Enix employee who has also been accused of insider trading with Naka—has had his sentence read out.
The Tokyo District Court found Sasaki guilty of insider trading. Cornell Law School explains:
“Insider trading is the trading of a company’s securities by individuals with access to confidential or material non-public information about the company. Taking advantage of this privileged access is considered a breach of the individual’s fiduciary duty.”
The prosecutors in the case were hoping to get Sasaki behind bars for three and a half years as punishment, in addition to paying a fine and penalty. However, Presiding Judge Kenji Yasunaga waived the prison sentence in favor of a suspended sentence of three years. This means that if Sasaki doesn’t get in any more trouble for five years, he won’t be locked up. The judge made this decision based on Sasaki showing remorse and confessing to the crime.
That doesn’t mean Sasaki is off scot-free, though. Sasaki still has to pay a fine of 4 million yen (approximately US$29,000), plus a penalty fee of 176 million yen (approximately $1.26 million).
Sasaki was originally charged on November 17, 2022, along with Fumiaki Suzuki. Naka was charged the very next day. Both Sasaki and Naka were then charged a second time. Allegedly the men were involved in insider trading around upcoming Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games, which they knew details about before the general public did.
In Naka’s trial, the prosecution is seeking to get him a two and a half year prison sentence, plus a penalty and fine. His defense is also trying to get him a suspended sentence.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.