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January 29, 2023

Maybe It’s Just a Giant Coincidence That the Four Companies at the Center of the Olympus Scandal All Share the Same Small Auditor

The Journal reports that four companies that were integral in hiding all the losses at creative accounting camera company Olympus all shared the same obscure auditor. Minoru Tanaka is still the auditor for three of the four companies although, for some strange reason, he was MIA in the report prepared by the panel that investigated the shenanigans. 

Mr. Tanaka's affiliation with the firms that landed in the Olympus orbit appears to have begun in 1999, according to corporate records. That is when he became an auditor for Global Co., an advisory firm whose president managed an investment fund for Olympus that acquired the initial stake in the three Japanese firms Olympus used to hide losses. Mr. Tanaka in 2005 became the auditor for a food-container maker that would later become News Chef Inc. Olympus made its first investment in News Chef in March 2006. That same month, Olympus also invested in medical-waste disposal company Altis Co., and cosmetics and dietary-supplement maker Humalabo Co. He also was listed as auditor of Altis and Humalabo and remained in that position for all three companies after Olympus took full ownership of them in 2008.
One other sketchy detail that the report mentions is Tanaka's affiliation with Ken Oshima, a wealthy Japanese entrepreneur, who is currently standing trial for illegally transferring over $500 million to a relative's bank account before his consumer-lending firm went bankrupt:
Mr. Tanaka has been a director for at least four companies owned by Mr. Oshima or members of his family, according to corporate records. 
Okay, sure,maybe  this all looks bad but you know how auditors can be.

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