Yuji Naka fined $1.2m and given suspended sentence over insider trading

Yuji Naka fined $1.2m and given suspended sentence over insider trading

The co-creator of Sonic The Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, has been found guilty of insider trading.

As reported by Japanese news outlet Jiji Press – spotted by VGC – the developer has been issued a prison sentence of two and a half years, suspended for four years. That's on top of two fines, clocking in at ¥173 million ($1.2 million). He was sentenced by the Tokyo District Court, which ruled Naka was in violation of the country's Financial Instruments and Exchange.

Naka will avoid jail if he adheres to the conditions set out in the suspended sentence order.

He was originally arrested back in November 2022 on suspicion of insider trading. Naka had bought shares in developers Aiming – ¥2.8 million ($20,000 – and ATeam Entertainment – ¥20 million ($146,000) – with the non-public knowledge that both studios were working on projects with Square Enix and, therefore would likely see a bump in stock price.

In March of this year, he admitted to insider trading.

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.