The Japanese court system has reached a decision in the staggering $1.7 billion accounting fraud scandal that rocked Olympus near the end of 2011. That scandal involved the executives’ decision to cover up the $1.7 billion investment losses that spanned 13 years from the 1990s. It was not until Michael Woodford, Olympus’ CEO and President at the time, was fired and subsequently revealed Olympus’ questionable practice of falsifying its financial reports.
The decision by Tokyo District Judge Hiroaki Saito on July 2nd 2013 may prove to be an unpopular decision to investors who are demanding justice.
The company itself received a $7 million fine, while the former Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, the former Olympus Executive Vice President Hihashi Mori and former auditing officer Hideo Yamada all received suspended sentences instead of jail time.
According to Bloomberg.com, the decision was made because it was their predecessors former Olympus presidents Masatoshi Kishimoto and Toshiro Shimoyama who “made the decision to hide the losses” and that Kikukawa and Yamada “weren’t involved in the decision making process to hide the losses.” Judge Saito further stated that “they were distressed and didn’t benefit personally from hiding losses. Mori followed their order.”
Surprisingly, since the wake of the scandal, Olympus has introduced a handful of very well-received photography products like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Olympus M.ZUIKO 75mm f/1.8 Portrait Lens. Subsequently, the company has fared well in the Tokyo financial market, with its shares doubling in the past 12 months.
Recently, Sony announced its acquisition in Olympus and both companies have since been working together in sharing and co-developing their technology.
So readers, what do you think of this scandal? Are you glad that it’s over? Do you feel that justice was not served? How do you feel about Olympus and its future?