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Yuji Naka fined, sentenced to prison for insider trading

Ex-Square Enix employee given a suspended sentence of two and half years in prison

Yuji Naka, former Square Enix and Sega developer, has been found guilty of insider trading.

As reported by VGC, per Jiji Press, Naka has been given a suspended sentence of two years and six months in prison, with four years probation.

He has received two fines totalling ¥173 million ($1.2 million).

The Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator admitted to insider trading charges in March 2023 during his trial. Naka violated Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by illegally buying shares based on inside information.

Naka was arrested for suspected insider trading in November 2018 for allegedly buying ¥2.8 million ($20,000) shares in a partner studio ahead of a game announcement during his tenure at Square Enix.

In December 2022, he was arrested again for allegedly purchasing ¥114.7 million ($384,000) shares in Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier before the mobile game was announced.

Naka joined Square Enix in 2018 but left in June 2021 following the release of Balan Wonderland, which was poorly received.

Naka claimed he was removed as director six months before the game launched and took Square Enix to court as a result.

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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