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ERIC Number: EJ1053608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1942-2504
Olympus Imaging Fraud Scandal: A Case Study
Elam, Dennis; Madrigal, Marion; Jackson, Maura
American Journal of Business Education, v7 n4 p325-332 2014
This case examines the two decade long tobashi scheme by Olympus Imaging Executives to hide $1.7 billion in losses. In the 1980s, a soaring yen and falling dollar caused bottom line income problems for many Japanese companies. Some companies sought to offset the declining revenue with zaiteku, a form of speculative investment. While early activities generated profits in 1987, by 1991 Olympus recorded 2.1 billion losses in yen. Rumors circulated that by the late 1990s, losses had grown larger. Rather than come clean and admit the losses, management continued to "double down" with riskier investments. Olympus created a tobashi scheme to shift losses off the Olympus balance sheet. Olympus created a tobashi scheme to shift losses off the Olympus balance sheet. Companies located in the Cayman Islands were purchased via exorbitant Management and Acquisition Fees. When the first Western President, Michael Woodford, questioned these practices, he was fired after two weeks on the job. Woodford became perhaps the first CEO ever to blow the whistle on his own firm. The subsequent scandal brought arrests of the executive team, an 80% decline in share price, the threat of de-listing on the Tokyo Exchange, and an international look at Japanese Corporate Governance. A detailed list of questions along with extensive teaching notes, bibliography, and references are provided. The case should be of interest in an accounting audit, ethics, governance, or international accounting class.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A