A Tokyo district court has given Olympus former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa a three-year sentence for his role in the accounting fraud that covered up losses of $1.7bn made by the Japanese camera maker.

Former executives Hideo Yamada and Hisashi Mori have been given three-year and two-and-a-half-year sentences, respectively; and Olympus fined $7m.

The scandal emerged in October 2011 when former chief executive Michael Woodford blew the whistle over accounting irregularities dating back from 1990.

Woodford claimed Olympus’ board paid excessively large fees on the advice of acquisition deals that were used to hide billions in losses and he was dismissed as a result.

Woodford told the International Accounting Bulleting that the lessons of such a "sad tale" should be "obvious" to anyone and emphasised: "I do hope that people in Japan are paying attention."

However Kikukawa, Yamada and Mori, who pleaded guilty during the trials, will avoid jail time as the Tokyo court has pronounced suspended sentences.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Asked whether or not the former chairman and the executives should have been condemned to more severe sentences, Woodford said: "I do not feel that it would be dignified for me to make any comment in relation to the sentencing of my former board colleagues. I have a great affection and fondness for Japan and want to see the country move forward as I do for myself and my family."

In November 2011 the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Japan’s Financial Services Agency launched an investigation which found executives accountable for the $1.7bn cover-up.

The investigation also concluded some aspects of the conduct of KPMG Asza and Ernst & Young ShinNihon, acting then as auditors, were "not appropriate" and "questionable".

Related articles

Japanese regulator criticises auditors over Olympus

Investigation clears EY, KPMG in Olympus fraud