Hiraki Kondo, the founder of Japanese Anime Studio Ufotable, has been found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Ufotable, who are known for their work on popular anime series like Demon Slayer, Fate/Stay Night, and The Gardens of Sinners has also received a fine of ¥30 million (roughly $264,000USD / 1,114,572MYR).
The court ruling states that Kondo hid the company’s income for three years starting in August 2018. Kondo evaded around ¥109.3 million ($963 million USD). The company has already paid back ¥139 million in taxes.
In response to the verdict, Ufotable has also given a public apology for the company’s actions in tax evasion:
“Our company and our representative have been convicted of a case of violation of the Corporation Tax Act. We sincerely apologize for the concern and inconvenience caused to the fans and other related parties who support our work.
Taking this opportunity, we will comply with laws and regulations and make further efforts to improve the environment for sustainable and better production.”
Ufotable is well known for the high production quality of its anime series. They were founded in 2000 and have since worked on a number of series with their movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing opening for a foreign film in the United States.
They have recently begun airing the second season of Demon Slayer.