Japanese Firm Sues Past, Present Executives Over Accounting Cover-Up

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 8:10 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese technology giant Olympus is suing the company’s president and 18 other former and current executives for their involvement in a massive accounting fraud scandal.

The suit accuses President Shuichi Takayama and the others of either taking part in or knowing about a scheme to hide $1.7 billion in losses from bad investments.

Olympus is demanding as much as $47 million in damages from ex-chief executive officer Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, and at least $39 million from a former auditor and a vice president.

Olympus has lost about half of its stock value since the scandal broke, putting the 92-year-old company on the brink of being de-listed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The scandal was exposed last year when then-president Michael Woodford questioned the company’s $2 billion purchase of a British medical equipment maker in 2008. The purchase price included a $687 million advisory fee, which was far above the usual price for such a deal.