Japanese authorities raided the homes and offices of Olympus Corp. (TYO:7733) employees in the latest act of the probe into the $1.7 billion accounting scandal the company admitted to last month.
Teams poured into the Tokyo headquarters of the technology giant while others were seen entering the luxury condo of a former Olympus president, according to Reuters.
"I’m tremendously sad that it’s come to this, especially when it could have been avoided depending on the actions of upper management," an Olympus employee told the news service while watching company headquarters being raided.
The raid follows a panel investigation concluding earlier this month that "rotten to the core" executives had masterminded the decades-long scheme to hide billions in losses by channeling money through investment funds.
Olympus Corp. (TYO:7733) admitted to channeling money through investment funds to hide losses in the wake of a growing scandal sparked by former CEO Michael Woodford.
The board "wrecked the company by siphoning off huge amounts of money on all this nonsense," Woodford said during a recent press conference. "The directors know that they will have to leave to bring credibility back to the board."
Woodford, the company’s first non-Japanese CEO, was sacked after questioning a $687 million acquisition consulting fee. Olympus, which has a corner on 70 percent of the endoscopic camera market, launched an internal probe into the fee scandal after Woodford took his concerns to the media, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Meanwhile, the Japanese arm of auditing firm Ernst & Young is setting up an external review panel to determine how it and previous auditor KPMH could have missed Olympus’ $1.7 billion accounting scam.
Olympus filed five years of corrected accounts last week, meeting a deadline to avoid delisting from the Tokyo stock exchange, according to Reuters.