Toshiba shareholders sue ex-executives over accounting scandal

Tokyo, Dec 7 (IANS) Around 50 small shareholders of Japanese tech giant Toshiba on Monday sued the company’s former executives over damages from the fall in share prices owing to illegal accounting practices.

They sued the company’s three former presidents and two former chief financial officers for a total of $2.43 million at a Tokyo district court, EFE news reported.

The shareholders claimed they would not have bought Toshiba shares if they had known about the fraudulent accounting practices the company indulged in for nearly seven years.

“If the damage to shareholders is not repaired in a case like this, confidence in the Japanese securities market will be lost,” their lawyer Takahisa Sano said.

According to an investigation by an independent panel, ordered by the Japanese government, between 2008 and 2013, Toshiba engaged in “systematic” manipulation of its accounts, overstating its operating profits by around $1.22 billion.

Since news about the accounting scandal broke out in May, the company’s shares have dipped by around 40 percent.

The shareholders’ lawyers will file similar suits against the company’s former management in courts in Osaka and Fukuoka, among other cities, and expect the total number of plaintiffs to reach around 1,000 people.

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