Olympus Corp. is back in the spotlight as the British Serious Fraud Office (BSFO) pursues to file charges against the lens and camera manufacturer. Acquired British medical equipment manufacturer Gyrus Group Ltd. will also be dragged in the prosecution concerning Olympus’ falsification of accounts, which was revealed in late 2011.
According to BSFO, “Gyrus Group Ltd and Olympus have been charged with offences of making a statement to an auditor which was misleading, false or deceptive, contrary to section 501 Companies Act 2006.” Gyrus got involved, as Olympus’ acquisition of the medical equipment firm was only executed to further cover up investment losses, dating back to the 1990s. According to BSFO, the British subsidiary will be facing four charges.
In late 2011, the Shinjuku-based camera maker was revealed to have involved in a cover-up of $1.7 billion loss. Back in July, three of Olympus’ executives – Taku Hada, Hisashi Ono, and Nobumasa Yokoo – were arrested for their involvement in the accounting fraud, hiding 2.2 billion yen of consultation fees from the company to cover-up the massive loss. The three were fined with a total of 700 million yen.
The scandal has brought Olympus to further losses until Sony Corp. bought 50 billion yen ($500 million) worth of stocks. For this year’s prosecution, Olympus will decide their response “after carefully reviewing the content of the charges.” The prosecution hearing will begin as early as this month. Since BSFO announced to prosecute, Olympus shares have fallen by up to 6.3 percent.