Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission will be filing additional charges against Olympus and five specific individuals for their role in the accounting scandal. The charges that were originally filed did not include prior years of accounting that was tampered. The Japanese watchdog says that the additional charges will end its probe into Olympus Corporations (PINK:OCPNY). Only last week, Japan filed charges against AIJ Investment Advisors Co, for accounting fraud, similiar to Olympus’.
The four individuals that were originally charged but received fresh charges were former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive VP Hisashi Mori, former auditor Hideo Yamada and an outside investment advisor Akio Nakagawa.
The individuals above are suspected of changing the value of the company’s net assets for fiscal years of April 2008 and 2009 as well as April 2010. However, as we now know, the SESC will be charging a fifth individual, Hiroshi Ono of Global Co. for his involvement in messing with Olympus’s books for the years of April 2006-2007. The Japanese overseers say that Ono is just as involved as the others that were being charged.
After finding out that Olympus has been fixing its books for a decade, the SESC is satisfied that all corners have been checked and all perpetrators have been charged and will see jail time. This is an unfortunate discover because Olympus was once a good brand for a camera and now they have tarnished their reputation and will see jail time.
I would be interested in seeing SESC probe Global Co. for its involvement in the Olympus case. Complaints have been filed against two Global-connected investors: Nobumasa Yokoo and Taku Hada. A panel that was set up by Olympus said in November that Global Co’s founder Yokoo helped Olympus set up an investment fund that bought bad assets and were moved off of Olympus’s accounting records. Obviously, SESC’s probe of Olympus may be over but it seems that there are other parts of the story that have yet to be uncovered.
It is quite apparent to me that Global Co played a significant part, if what this panel says is true. Regardless of whether they are true or not, the Japanese government needs to investigate and get to the bottom of this case to see if Global Co and other specifics members are involved or not. Global Co has played a role in the Olympus scandal in some way. There are documents that point to contact between the two companies and now a panel is saying that executives helped get losses off Olympus’s books. The ball is in SESC’s corner.