Demon Slayer Studio and Founder Convicted of Tax Evasion

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The head and founder of the anime studio that produces one of the most popular anime series, Demon Slayer, will not be serving any prison time for his recent tax evasion case.

The sentencing for Hikaru Kondo, the founder and head of Ufotable studio, was held in Japan on Dec. 10, where Kondo was given a suspended sentence, which requires him to stay out of any legal trouble for the next three years. If he manages to find himself breaking the law again during that three years, will then be subject to his full 20 months in a prison sentence. The animation studio was given a fine of 30 million yen (around $260,000 USD,) a reduced amount from the 40 million yen that the prosecutors of the case were originally pursuing. Ufotable studio released an apology for the incident on their website, and they stated that it has already started paying back the approximately $4 million USD in taxes that it failed to pay previously.

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Hikaru Kondo, who was charged with evading over $1 million USD in taxes, has stated that he planned to use the money to protect the company from any potential future downturns in business. The prosecutors of the case refuted his statement, saying that Kondo used that money for personal investments to increase his personal wealth, such as investing in real estate. During the sentencing hearing, the court discussed how Hikaru Kondo pressured his wife, who works as Ufotable's chief accountant, into manipulating the tax filings of the company.

Both Kondo and Ufotable studio was originally indicted on tax evasion charges back on July 9. Both the studio and its founder released statements where they initially denied all of the allegations, but Kondo ended up confessing to the tax evasion charges in September, and Ufotable also announced that they had now filed the correct tax documents and are now paying back the owed amount of taxes.

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