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Olympus Whistleblower to Be Honored

March 2, 2012

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners plans to present former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford with its Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award for blowing the whistle on the accounting fraud he uncovered shortly after taking the helm at the scandal-ridden camera maker.

The ACFE will present the award to Woodford at the group’s 23rd Annual Fraud Conference & Exhibition, June 17-22, in Orlando, Fla. The ACFE bestows the Sentinel Award annually upon “a person who, without regard to personal or professional consequences, has publicly disclosed wrongdoing in business or government — the unselfish hero whom society has tarred as being a ‘whistleblower.’ These individuals are corporate sentinels, our frontline of defense against wrongdoing, and we created this award to recognize their sacrifices.”

“It’s very encouraging to receive the Sentinel Award from the ACFE,” Woodford said in a statement. “It lifts my soul because it’s been a pretty miserable time.”

Michael Woodford

Woodford, a 30-year veteran of Olympus, was the first Westerner to be named CEO of the Japanese camera and medical equipment manufacturer. He became a central figure in the scandal after he questioned sizable fees that Olympus had paid to hide losses from securities investments. Last September, Woodford confronted the Olympus board on multiple occasions asking for answers to financial discrepancies and even commissioned a PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation.

Woodford was abruptly fired Oct. 14, 2011, by the company’s executive board because of what the board cited as a “management culture clash.” Just one month later, Olympus officials publicly admitted to the FBI and the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office to having paid fraudulent advisory fees in a decade-long cover up valuing $1.7 billion. Several former executives at the company have resigned and been arrested in the wake of the high-profile scandal (see Former Olympus Execs Arrested in Accounting Scandal).

Along with receiving the award at the ACFE Annual Fraud Conference, Woodford will also present a keynote address, along with other keynote speakers including Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Pamela Meyer, CFE, Diane B. Henriques and Mark Whitacre (aka “The Informant”). More than 2,300 attendees will be on hand for training, best practices and networking at the largest gathering of anti-fraud professionals in the world.

For more information about Michael Woodford and the Olympus scandal, visit

For more information about the 23rd Annual ACFE Fraud Conference and Exhibition, visit

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