Thursday, February 23, 2012

Olympus Fraud: More to the Story

Bloomberg-Business Week had a great story about Michael Woodford, former President and CEO of Olympus, and how he came to be the person to blow the whistle on the corrupt leadership of Olympus. The story includes everything from the Japanese Mafia (aka Yakuza) to the missing money that is in the billions and may never be found. Here is one paragraph to wet your appetite:
Woodford, 51, recounted how he had just returned from Hong Kong, having fled Tokyo after a board meeting in which Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa had fired him. The cause for dismissal, according to Woodford: his insistence that Olympus officials come clean about a series of questionable purchases dating to 2006, totaling $1.6 billion, none of which had been adequately reported in the company’s consolidated financial statements. The deals had been approved by Kikukawa and the Olympus board, yet in several cases the parties receiving the sums were not even clearly identified in Olympus’s books.
This is a crazy story that I'm guessing will be made into a movie some day. In any case, the article says Woodford is working on a book. I may have to read that one... 

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