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Ex-Sonic Team Lead Yuji Naka Is Reportedly Arrested For Square Enix Insider Trading

It seems like trouble is afoot in Square Enix, even for those who aren’t in the company anymore.

Yuji Naka, who is known for being one of the original programmers of past Sonic The Hedgehog games, Balan Wonderworld, and confirming Michael Jackson’s work in Sonic The Hedgehog 3, has reportedly been arrested due to his involvement in the recent Square Enix insider trading investigation.

To recap, two former Square Enix employees were arrested in Tokyo as part of a suspected insider trading scheme: Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki. The two acquired stock in Japanese developer Aiming shortly before it announced its work on a new Dragon Quest game: Dragon Quest Tact. They both purchased US$336,300 of stock in the company before Dragon Quest Tact was announced to the public.

The ex-Sega and ex-Square Enix employee is now the latest suspect in the ongoing case according to FNN Prime Online. He was privy to news and development regarding Dragon Quest Tact while he was working on his 3D platformer Balan Wonderworld at the time. He allegedly purchased 10,000 shares of Aiming stock for US$20,000, also done before the game was announced. Since Dragon Quest is a huge deal in Japan, there’s no doubt people who buy shares early in companies involved with the brand (especially a gacha F2P title) will get their money’s worth and then some.

Here is a Square Enix statement regarding the legal controversy:

“Today, some media outlets reported that the former employees of Square Enix were under investigation for suspected insider trading. We have been fully cooperating with requests from the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission. As the investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is underway, we will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation.

We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned. We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.”

Disciplinary action is the least of anyone’s worries. Last we checked, insider trading charges are usually up to 5 years. While not as severe as US or UK’s laws, the shame of being a jailbird is enough to condemn people’s careers in the long term.

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