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Former Olympus Execs Arrested in Accounting Scandal

February 17, 2012

Japanese authorities have arrested seven former Olympus executives and outside advisors as the accounting scandal at the camera and medical equipment maker took a dramatic turn.

The arrests Thursday included former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa along with former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada, who were among those sued by the company last month for the $1.7 billion accounting fraud (see Olympus Sues Executives over Accounting). They have been accused of filing false reports with tax officials, according to the Financial Times. The company has admitted to moving over $1.3 billion of investment losses off its books through offshore funds and acquisitions.

Olympus also allegedly inflated the fees it paid to investment advisors for acquisitions and overpaid for acquisitions to generate goodwill impairment losses.

The widening scandal seems to show little sign of abating. The company’s former chief executive, Michael Woodford, who blew the whistle on the accounting problems at the company shortly after taking the helm and was then removed from his post, appears to be vindicated in exposing the fraud at the company.

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