Ex-Bank Exec Linked to Olympus Accounting Fraud Case Arrested in L.A.

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CITY NEWS SERVICE

A former bank executive was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles in connection with an accounting scandal at Olympus Corp., the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Chan Ming Fon, 50, a citizen of Taiwan who lives in Singapore, is charged in federal court in New York with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, prosecutors said. He was scheduled to make his initial federal court appearance in downtown Los Angeles prior to being returned to New York.

The U.S. government alleges Fon received more than $10 million from the Tokyo-based camera and medical equipment maker for assisting in accounting fraud.

As a bank executive, he oversaw accounts maintained by Olympus and its affiliates, prosecutors said.

“As alleged, Chan Ming Fon was handsomely paid to play an international shell game with hundreds of millions of dollars of assets in order to allow Olympus to keep a massive accounting fraud going for years, duping its auditors and its shareholders,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara alleged.

“By allegedly deceiving Olympus’ auditors over and over again, the defendant undermined the system of auditor oversight that exists to detect exactly this kind of fraud, a fraud that victimizes investors and undermines confidence in the markets,” Bharara said.

Olympus and former executives pleaded guilty in September in Japan to charges related to a $1.5 billion accounting scandal, federal officials said.

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