Former Olympus execs plead guilty to accounting fraud

THREE FORMER EXECUTIVES at Japanese camera maker Olympus have pleaded guilty to charges related to a $1.7bn (£1bn) accounting fraud.

Tokyo prosecutors charged former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori and former director and auditor Hideo Yamada for falsifying accounts to hide massive investment losses at the company.

Reports suggest they could face up to ten years in prison, while Olympus can be penalised with a fine of up to £5.5m.

The scandal was revealed last year when British ex-chief executive Michael Woodford turned whistleblower and raised questions about suspicious merger and acquisition payments.

In January, auditors KPMG and Ernst & Young were cleared of any responsibility for the accounting black hole discovered at Olympus.

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