back to article Olympus trio escape jail but firm fined £4.6 MEEELION

Three former Olympus execs have been found guilty of massive accounting fraud and the camera-maker fined ¥700m (£4.6m), although the disgraced trio escaped prison sentences. Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, auditor Hideo Yamada, and ex-VP Hisashi Mori to suspended prison terms …


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  1. LarsG

    The guilty pleas and then the lenient sentences were so that no one dug down deeper into this. Bet there was a lot more that they didn't want to air.

    1. Cliff

      As they were clearly bent

      Then would you trust them not to pay people off to avoid chokey?

  2. Gordon 10

    Thats appalling

    Thousands job less, billions lied about and no-one goes to jail. Well done Japan /slowhandclap

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Gordon Pryra

      Re: Thats appalling


      Hardly the kind of stuff that's unique to Japan.

      Check out the Yanks and Apple. How many times have apple brought their way out of deep shit and prison? last example would be price fixing over e-books

      Or Google in the Uk? Lying about the status of their London sales force but buying a big building in London to get the politicos to stfu over it.

      Or Westminster Police and their famous "BT did not know wiretapping was a crime" bullshit about Phrorm.

      Some of these are actual criminal activities rather than just distasteful, with even the police forces being forced to lie on their behalf.

      Its not /slowhandclap Japan, more like /awe at the worlds Governments hypocrisy and barefaced "in your face normal people" attitude.

      1. LPF
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Thats appalling

        Excuse me , but pretty sure that the Apple e-book case is ongoing for a start and last time I checked they have not plead guilty to anything , same with google, so I think its you who needs to have a dose of STFU

        Paris becuase she can spot and idiot as well

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thats appalling

      "Thousands job less, billions lied about and no-one goes to jail. Well done Japan /slowhandclap"

      Why single out Japan? Fraud in the UK is treated leniently, with paltry sentences served in open prisons, followed by release after serving 40% of the short sentence.

      Some round here may remember the demise of Torex Retail in 2007, then the largest company listed on AIM, employing about three thousand people, two thirds of them in the UK, and being one of the market leaders in EPOS, and IP owner of a whole menagerie of retail software in the UK, Europe and US. About two weeks ago three of the directors were sentenced for fraud and false accounting, and the longest sentence handed down was two counts of 30 months to be served concurrently (El Reg, lazy b@stards, didn't mention this, I did email them the SFO press release). So the chief culprit will be out in about fourteen months. Milking half a million quid out of a company, keeping the money, and getting fourteen months porridge translates to a better pay rate than I'm ever going to see. Meanwhile, the director who blew the whistle on this fraud hasn't worked since.

      Meanwhile, Torex Retail shareholders and suppliers copped losses of the order of £100m, and about 800 UK employees got the boot in the subsequent RBS-led stitch up and restructuring. There's been no confiscation of the assets of the guilty, so the money that the directors looted from the business remains in their hands. So that's the £200k salaries, fat pensions, penny share options with few conditions that they then ignored anyway, private share sales when the directors knew them to be worthless, and business routed to the chairman's wife's company, etc. And that's not all: Regulators, politicians, and police have been deliverately pussy footing round the rank events that occurred after the collapse of Torex Retail, because these could prove systematic fraud at RBS, which the pols are desperate not to have investigated, as it shows up their incompetence and their craven servitude to the bank lobbyists.

      There's a big neon sign hanging over the UK, and it says "Fraudster's welcome - little chance of being caught, kid glove treatment if we can't let you off".

      So Japan may be treating its fraudsters leniently, but let's not claim any moral high ground, shall we?

      1. Neil B

        Re: Thats appalling

        Banged up for almost four years and hit with a £170k costs charge. To me, that seems proportionate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Re: Thats appalling

          "Banged up for almost four years and hit with a £170k costs charge. To me, that seems proportionate."

          The suppliers who were out of pocket, the employees who got the shove, and the investors who lost money might disagree. The costs weren't a fine for their actions, they were merely the costs of the prosecution (and not the millions of pounds spent by the SFO on investigating).

          You also overlook the important point that Woodbridge will be out in less than half of that, and the fact that Moore and Loosemore (who were in fact the brains behind this fraud) only got two thirty & twenty month sentences respectively, but served concurrently (as opposed to consecutively). As with Woody, on Home Office guidelines they won't serve even half of that. Loosemore could even be out in time for Christmas this year, if there's sufficient pressure on prison places to trigger further sentence discounts. There are burglars serving more for thieving a few TV's. Even the director disqualifications were paltry.

          It's also worth noting that all three of these convicts were previously involved at board level with iSoft, from which Torex was spun out. Funnily enough there's a retrial pending for three iSoft directors on fraud charges, and there's the separate fraud around the purchase of XN Checkout by Torex, for which Ed Dayan enjoyed an all too brief spell of porridge. Looks like rather a lot of people think fraud is both acceptable, and a risk worth taking, doesn't it?

          The fundamental problem is that the potential gains of fraud are in the range of several million quid, but the penalties for being caught no more than you'd get for a short string of burglaries, or stealing a car. And if you can get a jury trial, chances are they won't understand it and you'll have a good chance of being aquitted.

  3. Paul Garrish

    So yet again the employees will pay for the ineptitude/criminal behaviour of the execs. Company fines just get passed on as layoffs or price hikes or both.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Woodford did the shareholders a *massive* favor

    That sort of infection with a companies accounts can kill it.

    The people involved got off very lightly.

    Of course they have been publicly embarrassed.

    I'm not sure that carries the weight it used to in Japanese society.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: not sure that carries the weight it used to in Japanese society.

      To the point that they would be expected to commit seppuku, no. But it still carries weight and I expect they will largely be shunned in society. At least as of 4 years ago when I was actively involved with a volunteer group that brings in Japanese guests each year.

  6. Chris Miller

    ¥700m is 0.1% of turnover or 2% of EBITDA. That'll larn 'em.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    absolute bargain!

    What's £4.6m split between three execs? AND they walk out free. Bargain, I say, and a glowing example to copycats! Way to go, everybody! (well, I'm not talking about YOU, prols, obviously).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    makes you think

    that a lot of those "high flying" crimes need to have sentences close to those now afforded to minor tax evadors, IE normal people. How long do you end up spending in jail if you don't pay your taxes this year? Probably more then these guys ...

  9. Rampant Spaniel

    Too rich and too well connected, they know too much about what others are up to. Not a shock but a travesty.

  10. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Michael Woodford on BBC radio/TV this week

    "The Bottom Line" this week discussed "Managing in a crisis". Former Olympus president, whistleblower Michael Woodford, was one of the three business people participating.

    Interesting timing. I wonder if they booked him hoping that the sentencing would happen first.

    I think he said that the losses that were being covered up went three company presidents back, I guess not including him.

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