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U.K. SFO Drops Olympus Probe: Misleading Auditors Not a Crime

Aarti Maharaj | November 10, 2015

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped a two-year case against Japan-based endoscope maker Olympus Corp in light of a London court ruling that misleading auditors is not seen as a criminal offence under English law.

In September 2013, the SFO charged Olympus and its U.K. subsidiary, medical systems company Gyrus Group for making false statements to an auditor. In this case, the SFO could not have prosecuted the individuals involved in the misconduct since Japan does not extradite its nationals, the regulator said.

The SFO said it began investigating the allegations in November 2011 after former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford blew the whistle on a $1.7 billion accounting scandal where Olympus made suspicious payments between April 2010 and March 2011.  Several...

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