Olympus shares plunged 29% today, closing 70% below where they were three weeks ago, as the company finally came clean about a rumoured scandal.New president Shuichi Takayama said the company has been hiding losses on securities investments dating back to the 1990s, according to Reuters.
Takayama blamed the former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and other executives for the coverup. He claims that he was ignorant of the coverup until now.
The scandal began to unravel last month when British CEO Michael Woodford called attention to strange payments made in 2008. Woodford was promptly fired for speaking up. It turns out Woodford was right. The 2008 payments were part of the coverup to hide decades-old losses.
This scandal puts the entire company at risk depending on how many people knew about the fraud, according to Reuters. Anyone who participated in the fraud could end up in jail.
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