Investigators raided the office buildings of three small Olympus Corp subsidiaries on Wednesday. These were among the 20 sites searched for investigations in a £1.1 billion accounting scandal.
The scandal over mis-kept books could bring down the 92-year-old, successful camera medical device makers.
Run for cover
It seemed that not even the homes of Olympus higher-ups were safe from the scandal probe, as investigators were also seen waiting to be let into the luxury flat of a former Olympus president.
The media was given advance knowledge of the raids, which were a joint effort between Tokyo prosecutors and financial regulators.
Any evidence collected could determine the company’s fate, as they have already admitted to concealing investment losses.
When the company came clean earlier this month, it was learned that Olympus has been concealing losses through shaky M&A deals and other dubious accounting methods for over 20 years.
The probe into the scandal has recently been reinvigorated by this month’s testimony from a panel of experts that said two former executives were in charge of the scheme and were helped by investment bankers.
It has also come to light that three ex-presidents knew of the cover-up, including Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who resigned in October after the scandal came to light.
Olympus made a statement about the raids, saying that the company intends to fully co-operate with investigative authorities and wants to bring the facts to light.
The company also apologised to its shareholders and business partners for the trouble over the scandal.
In an effort to avoid being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), Olympus filed five years of corrected accounts last week. The firm also delivered first-half results to the TSE that were overdue and showed a staggering loss after the scandal.
Experts say that the company could still be taken off of the TSE listings if the accounting crimes prove to be serious enough.
Olympus shares dropped 1.4% lower after Wednesday’s raids, continuing their downward spiral since the news of the accounting scandals were made public. Shareholders have seen hope in recent days, however, as the market was favourable after news that Olympus will issue about £821 million in new shares.