Dec. 21 - Japanese prosecutors raid Olympus and the homes of former executives, as part of investigations into a $1.7 billion accounting scandal. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT : NO REPORTER NARRATION Japanese prosecutors raided Olympus Corp and the homes of former executives on Wednesday (December 21) as part of investigations into a $1.7 billion accounting scandal. Local TV footage showed vehicles belonging to prosecutors entering Olympus headquarters through the underground garage of the office building which houses the company. Other images showed prosecutors entering the apartment complex where former chairman and president of Olympus Tsuyoshi Kikukawa lived. Tokyo prosecutors, police and financial regulators have joined forces in a rare joint investigation of the camera and medical equipment maker, which has admitted to hiding huge investment losses via questionable merger and acquisitions deals, and other accounting tricks stretching back over two decades. Investigations moved into high gear after a panel of experts appointed by Olympus to probe into what has become one of Japan's biggest corporate scandal said early this month that two senior former executives masterminded the scheme with the help of investment bankers. It also found that three ex-presidents, including Tsuyoshi Kikukawa who resigned in October over the scandal, had known about the cover-up. Olympus last week filed five years of corrected accounts, plus overdue first-half results, meeting a stock exchange deadline to avoid a delisting, but revealing a depleted balance sheet. Olympus' shares closed 1.4 percent lower, giving up early gains that had extended a 16 percent surge the day before.