Olympus fraud arrests

Olympus fraud arrests
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Japanese police have arrested the former president of Olympus, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, and six others in connection with the massive accounting fraud at the camera and medical equipment maker. They also searched Kikukawa’s home.

The arrests come four months after one of Japan’s biggest corporate scandals was revealed.

Those being held are three former Olympus executives and ex-bankers who carried our audits of the company.

They are suspected of covering up over one billion euros worth of losses at Olympus.

The scandal was exposed in October by then-CEO Michael Woodford, who was sacked by the Olympus board after querying dubious merger and acquisition deals later found to have been used to conceal the losses.

Woodford campaigned to win his job back, but gave up that bid last month, blaming cosy ties between management and big Japanese shareholders and citing the strain on his family.

“After going to hell and back, this is a day to remember,” Woodford said in response to the arrests.

The Briton, who was a rare foreign CEO in Japan, plans to write a book about his experiences uncovering the scandal.

Investors are now focused on who will run the once-proud company when its management steps down at an April 20 shareholders meeting, and what Olympus will do to fix its balance sheet.

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