Panel denies crime links in Olympus investigation


posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 1:44 AM EDT

Olympus' logo. Click here to visit the Olympus website!Olympus Corp. yesterday published a statement on behalf of its third-party committee, in response to reports in the media late last week that at least US$4.9 billion was still unaccounted for, and that possible organized crime links were being investigated.

According to the statement, the six-member committee chaired by former Supreme Court justice Tatsuo Kainaka has not yet uncovered anything linking organized crime syndicates to Olympus' past corporate acquisitions, or to the funds intended for use in these acquisitions. The full statement can be seen in the press release section at the end of this article.

Former company President and CEO Michael Woodford, who was dismissed from both positions last month after attempting to uncover details related to the case, is said to have suggested that he believes the statement to be premature, according to a report from Japan's Kyodo news network, mirrored in the Mainichi Daily News. Woodford is expected to return to Japan tomorrow--his first trip to the country since his dismissal--and has said that he intends to challenge the company's board to ensure that the full story is revealed. Woodford is also scheduled to meet with police and financial regulators on the trip, before travelling across the Pacific for similar discussions with US authorities.

Press Release

November 21, 2011

News Release

Company: Olympus Corporation
Representative Director, President and CEO: Shuichi Takayama
(Code: 7733, First Section, Tokyo Stock Exchange)
Contact: Akihiro Nambu, Manager, Public Relations and IR Office

Statement from the Third Party Committee Regarding Certain Media Reports Concerning Olympus Corporation

Olympus Corporation (the "Company") hereby announces that, regarding certain media reports concerning the Company, the Company has received the attached statement from the Third Party Committee (Chairman: Tatsuo Kainaka, attorney-at-law) as of today.

The Company shall immediately disclose any further important information if it has come to light.

- END -

21 November, 2011

To whom it may concern

Third-party committee of Olympus Corporation
Chairman Tatsuo Kainaka

Statement Regarding Certain Media Reports Concerning Olympus Corporation

Regarding the postponement of reporting of securities investment losses of Olympus Corporation, the third-party committee of Olympus Corporation is currently conducting investigation focusing on previous acquisitions by Olympus Corporation, the flow of acquisition funds and related matters.

Recently, some international media and some domestic media that have cited international media have reported that such previous acquisition funds may have flowed to anti-social forces (organized crime syndicates), or that anti-social forces (organized crime syndicates) might have had been involved in such acquisitions. However, no such facts have been uncovered in the course of the committee's investigation to date.