Olympus have admitted to illegal accounting practices in a news conference held in Tokyo today. The company used over $1 billion to hide huge losses from bad investments since the 90’s, sweeping them under the rug by making spurious payments to dummy entitles, the largest of which was over $670 million (or 2 years profit) in 2008 to a Caymans Island entity which disappeared 2 weeks later.
Above: Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa speaking at a press conference to announce the firing of CEO Woodford
Reuters are reporting on an escalation in the Olympus scandal, as the future of the company looks more and more uncertain. The key figure has emerged as a Wall Street banker (I am not surprised) of Japanese descent named Hajime “Jim” Sagawa, after British ex-CEO Michael Woodford filed a paper trail with the Serious Fraud Office in London this week.
On their recommendation Woodford (above, left-middle) is now seeking police protection from Scotland Yard due to fears for his safety.