Three advisers rearrested over Olympus accounting scandal


Three businessmen were rearrested Tuesday on suspicion of illegally transferring ¥2.2 billion in alleged reward money from Olympus Corp. overseas after helping the company hide massive losses, Tokyo prosecutors said.

Arrested were corporate executive Nobumasa Yokoo, 59, and associates Taku Hada, 50, and Hiroshi Ono, 51. All three have already been indicted in the crippling accounting scandal at the optical and electronic equipment maker.

According to the new arrest warrant, the three overstated the company’s 2006 and 2007 financial statements by ¥110 billion each to cover up huge losses in conspiracy with former Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, 72.

They received around ¥2.2 billion in reward money in 2008 but transferred it to overseas bank accounts to conceal it, the prosecutors said.

Kikukawa, who has also been indicted, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at the Tokyo District Court on July 3.

A third-party panel investigating the scandal has concluded that Yokoo provided instructions to Kikukawa and other former executives for devising the cover-up scheme.

The scheme at Olympus came to light in October 2011 when then President Michael Woodford blew the whistle on dubious accounting transactions related to its corporate acquisitions.