Olympus issues statement on accounting fraud charges (update)
March 7, 2012
Olympus has confirmed that Tokyo prosecutors have charged the company over the filing of false financial statements in relation to a £1.1 billion accounting cover-up.
The move comes a day after Japan?s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission filed a formal complaint with Tokyo prosecutors over an alleged breach of financial regulations.
In a statement released this morning, Olympus confirmed: ?The company has received a notice that the prosecutor of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors? Office has prosecuted the company by the charged facts that are substantially the same as those described in the formal complaint.?
Ex-Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori were among seven top officials arrested over the matter last month.
Six men face charges, in addition to Olympus as a corporation.
A report by news agency Reuters suggests the men could face up to ten years in prison, while Japan?s Nikkei newspaper claims that Olympus itself could be fined more than $1.2 million.
Investigations into the scandal continue. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office and the FBI in the United States have launched separate probes into the affair which led the firm’s share price to plummet by more than 75% at one stage.
The Olympus statement added: ?The company takes the prosecution? with utmost seriousness and will continue to make every endeavour to enhance the corporate governance systems.?
The scandal came to the surface after former chief executive Michael Woodford was sensationally sacked after accusing fellow board members of wrongdoing last October.
Olympus later admitted it had cooked the books after denying this was the case.
Woodford is currently suing Olympus for wrongful dismissal at a tribunal taking place in London.