Japanese prosecutors charged six former Olympus Corp. executives who are accused in a $1.7 billion accounting scandal, one of the largest cases of corporate fraud in Japan's history.
Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday it charged Olympus and six company figures for falsifying financial statements in a bid to hide company losses from 2006-2007, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The scandal at the camera and medical equipment maker involves several senior company managers, including former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada. All three men were arrested last month.
Three external advisers, Akio Nakagawa, Nobumasa Yokoo and Taku Hada, were also charged in connection with the fraud.
Wednesday's announcement comes four months after Olympus admitted executives covered up investment losses incurred in the late 1980s. The losses were hidden as long as 20 years.
If found guilty, the Olympus executives could face up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of up to 10 million yen ($124,000), according to Japan's Kyodo News.
Olympus could also face a fine of up to 700 million yen ($8.7 milliom), lawyers added.
Olympus said in a statement it takes the prosecution by the Tokyo District Prosecutors' Office with utmost seriousness and will continue to make every endeavor to enhance the corporate governance systems.
Shares in the company have fallen 50 percent on the Tokyo stock exchange since news of the scandal broke in October.
Olympus is suing current and former executives over the affair, In a bid to reassure investors and recover a fraction of the losses.