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No jail time for Olympus bosses who committed $1.7 billion accounting fraud

Sharif Sakr
07.03.13
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You might think a harmless white collar crime would escape the wheels of justice. After all, what's a little $1.7 billion accounting scandal in the grand scheme of things? As it turns out, you wouldn't be far wrong: none of the three senior figures sentenced in Japan today for falsifying Olympus Corp.'s financial accounts have been sent to jail. Former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa received a three-year suspended sentence, in light of the fact that he didn't make the original decision to hide the firm's financial losses, while a former executive VP and a former auditing officer also got suspended sentences after making similar defenses. The company itself was fined $7 million.

Meanwhile, the two men accused of starting the fraud, former presidents Masatoshi Kishimoto and Toshiro Shimoyama, have escaped all charges because, as reported by Kyodo News a couple of months ago, too much time has elapsed since the original crime. Oh well. If there's any upside to this sorry saga, we guess it's the fact that the whistleblower who lost his job after exposing the scandal, former CEO Michael Woodford, eventually saw some restitution.

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