UK fraud agency to prosecute Olympus

Japanese camera and medical equipment maker Olympus and UK subsidiary Gyrus Group are to be prosecuted by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

They have been charged with providing "misleading, false or deceptive" material in accounts for Gyrus.

"Having completed its investigation, the SFO has decided to bring a prosecution against the company and Gyrus Group Limited, a UK subsidiary," an Olympus statement said on Wednesday.

Olympus's acquisition of Gyrus was one of the deals at the centre of an accounting fraud which exploded in 2011.

Earlier this year three former executives - former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and executives Hisashi Mori and Hideo Yamada - were given suspended jail terms over the affair, accused of falsifying accounts to cover up losses of $1.7 billion that had accumulated since the 1990s by using outsized consulting fees and buying unrelated companies.

A Japanese court also ordered Olympus to pay 700 million yen in fines.

Olympus said it was "difficult to predict the outcome of this matter or estimate the level of fines that may be imposed".

The company has already been fined about 192 million yen by Japan's Financial Services Agency.

Image: © Olympus

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