Fraud charges have been brought in Germany against three Olympus Europe <7733.T> management team members in a case dating back to 2003, a spokesman for the investigating authorities in Hamburg said Monday.

The spokesman said the men, in their role as managers at the European branch of the scandal-hit camera maker, had signed off receipts for which no services had been provided.

German daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on its website that the men had left the company several years ago. The charges were brought in March 2011.

The public prosecutors estimate the fraud cost Olympus 640,000 euros (£553,116). The receipts date from between June and October 2003.

A spokewoman for Olympus Europe said the company had passed documents to the prosecutors in 2008, but declined to comment specifically on the charges.

The prosecutors did not provide details of who had received the payments. A date for a court hearing has not yet been set.

The authorities were tipped off by former Olympus chief executive Michael Woodford.

Woodford was sacked from Olympus after querying a record $687 million paid by the company in advisory fees to two obscure firms related to the $2 billion acquisition of British medical equipment maker Gyrus in 2008.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Alexander Smith)