Tokyo Metropolitan Police open investigation after Olympus admits hiding losses, AFP says

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo Metropolitan Police department has launched an investigation into whether Olympus committed accounting fraud after it admitted concealing losses in deals reaching as far back as the 1990s, according to Agence France-Presse.

The authorities ordered the 92-year-old Japanese company to surrender all accounting documents connected to four questionable acquisitions, including the purchase of British medical–instrument maker Gyrus Group PLC, AFP said. Olympus admitted it paid $687 million to an adviser in that $2 billion deal.

A major shareholder called for the reinstatement of former CEO Michael Woodford, whose ouster in October brought the accounting irregularities to light, AFP is reporting. “What Olympus needs now is a thorough clean-up and we believe Michael Woodford is the best man for the job,” AFP cited Elaine Morrison, a partner at investment group Baillie Gifford and Co., as saying. The Edinburgh-based firm held more than 4 percent of the camera and endoscope maker’s outstanding shares as of October 31, the news service said

Woodford, a British national, said he was fired after raising questions within the company about the deals. Olympus shares have lost more than 80 percent of their value since the scandal first came to light.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission have also launched their own investigation into Olympus’s activities.

Source: AFP

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