ufotable founder, representative director, and president Hikaru Kondo has admitted to committing the crime of tax evasion.
According to NHK (via Anime News Network), he has been charged with violating the Corporation Tax Act and Consumption Tax Act by failing to pay 138 million yen (about US$1.25 million) in taxes at a preliminary hearing by the Tokyo District Court. During the same hearing, Kondo also issued an apology, saying that he initially thought his tax evasion would “not bring trouble to [ufotable].”
In the prosecution’s opening statement, it is revealed that ufotable and Kondo put away hid part of the company’s income from their cafes and merchandise from 2015 to 2018 in order to protect themselves against future potential downturns in business. This allegedly amounted to as much as 441 million yen (about US$4 million) in income.
After the formal indictment of Kondo and ufotable, the company assured that they had already filed a corrected tax return and paid the appropriate amount. Hikaru Kondo founded ufotable in 2000. The animation studio is best known for several anime series, including Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba, Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night and more.
Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba The Movie Mugen Train is now streaming on Netflix.