updated 07:00 am EST, Mon February 6, 2012
Official investigations to dig up more dirt
Ex-Olympus CEO turned whistleblower Michael Woodford expects that official investigations into the massive $1.7 billion financial scandal will yield further damaging revelations, reports Reuters. Although Olympus tooks steps to have a third-party investigate the 13-year investment losses long cover-up, Woodford expects that Japanese, British and US law enforcement agencies will dig up more dirt ahead of an extraordinary shareholding meeting scheduled for April 20. The news comes at a time when Olympus may be set to enter into a new alliance with Panasonic and Samsung.
‘Investigations into the scandal are ongoing on three continents and, therefore, we are still not in a position to know the full extent of what took place,’ Woodford told Reuters. ‘But before April's extraordinary general meeting, I believe it is highly likely there will be further revelations and all interested parties should continue to closely scrutinize events,’ he added, but without going into details.
Woodford initiated the scandal following his sensational and unexpected sacking by the former, but now disgraced, chairman of the Olympus board Tsuyoshi Kikukawa. Kikukawa sacked Woodford after he uncovered the cover-up following an unsually high brokerage payment to a company in the Cayman Islands following an acquisition. It then became apparent that at least two other, now former, Olympus execs VP Hisashi Mori and internal auditor Hideo Yamada had been using the overpayments as way of covering up company losses extending back over a decade.