Conviction finalized for ex-Livedoor accountant

Kyodo

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former accountant for Internet firm Livedoor Co. who wanted his lower court conviction for accounting fraud overturned, finalizing the ruling.

The ruling by the top court’s second petty bench, made Wednesday, formalizes the one-year suspended prison term handed to Motoshi Kobayashi, 56. The term will be suspended for four years.

The ruling said that Kobayashi conspired with high-flying Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie, 36, and other company officials to pad the group’s pretax balance by booking some ¥5.3 billion in profit for the year through September 2004, when it should have showed a ¥300 million loss.

The action by the Livedoor executives broke the then Securities and Exchange Law.

Kobayashi, who was the company’s auditor through September 2003, pleaded not guilty and denied involvement in the fraud.

Guilty rulings have also been finalized for five other people and two companies indicted over the Livedoor accounting fraud scandal.

The only ruling pending in the case is the one handed down to Horie, who has filed an objection to the Supreme Court’s decision to reject his appeal.