Japan rocked by internet accounting scandal

One of Japan’s most high-profile internet entrepreneurs has been charged with
falsifying accounts at the company he led until last month as well as spreading
false information about the company’s acquisitions.

Takafumi Horie, the flamboyant founder of Livedoor, along with three other
executives was indicted yesterday.

‘We will make it clear in court that Livedoor achieved rapid growth through
criminal acts that threaten the fairness of securities trading. The latest move
is just one aspect of this case and we will continue our thorough
investigation,’ Tokyo prosecutors said in a statement.

Horie has denied any wrongdoing.

Livedoor built its online presence by acquiring divergent online portals
connected to such things as used-car dealers, television, and Japanese baseball
and was embraced by the Japanese youth culture.

The news sent Livedoor shares down 33% to close at 61 yen (30p) – the shares
have plunged more than 90% since mid-January.

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