• Kyodo

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The magnitude of Toshiba Corp.’s accounting scandal nearly tripled over the weekend as sources Saturday revealed that its combined group operating profit for the five-year period ending in March 2014 was likely inflated by over ¥150 billion.

That’s roughly three times the combined ¥54.8 billion previously revealed by Toshiba itself, as estimated by the outside committee investigating the problem.

The accounting debacle is only likely to grow as the committee probes deeper and uncovers even more inconsistencies in Toshiba’s books, the sources said.

The disclosures quietly began with vague warnings about infrastructure-related and other projects. But now suspicious accounting is being uncovered in its TV, semiconductor and personal computer businesses, the sources said.

Since Toshiba’s operating profits for the period exceeded ¥1 trillion, it is unlikely to drop into the red even after correcting the flawed reports.

The panel is expected to issue its report later this month. Toshiba has withdrawn its earnings estimate for the year ended in March and canceled a year-end dividend.

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