Japanese company Olympus Corporation has hid $1.67 billion in losses, which goes back 20 years or so. The Japanese panel that conducted the investigation against Olympus consisted of police officers, lawyers, and the SEC.
Olympus covered up their losses through bad investments and covered them up by paying very high advisory fees after buying out several companies. Olympus CEO Michael Woodford was fired two months ago and had only joined a few weeks before that. Woodford was likely fired for publicly talking about Olympus’ bad investments.
Olympus’ stock price dropped over the past few weeks and they lost over half their value. Chances are that the company will be delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange soon.
The cover-up seems to have been initiated by EVP Hisashi Mori and former internal auditor Hideo Yamada. Former President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa was reportedly notified about the incident. However Kikukawa denied being involved when the controversy started in October. Kikukawa is no longer working for Olympus either. Woodford is urging that shareholders replace the board by February.