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The worst business financial scandals of the last 15 years

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(1) Toshiba – 2015

In July 2015 it was revealed that Toshiba’s CEO and president, Hisao Tanaka, was leaving the firm after an investigation found that the boss has been exaggerating profits. It wasn’t a one-off either, as it came to light the electronics firm had been on the receiving end of inaccurate bookkeeping for years.

Operating profits had been lied about since 2008, as Tanaka inflated figures by up to three times the actual level, which resulted in an inaccuracy of $1.22bn being racked up during the period.

Tanaka wasn’t the only one to leave the firm, as 16 senior executives, including the chairman and vice-chairman, resigned from their posts. “I deeply apologise to all stakeholders for causing these problems. This has resulted in the largest damage ever to our corporate image,” Tanaka said.

The Independent Investigation Committee, noted: “Employees were pressured into inappropriate accounting by postponing loss reports or moving certain costs into later years.”

Meanwhile, Toshiba’s statement said its renewed commitment to the original management policy “puts the highest priority on human life, safety and compliance”, adding that thorough measures would be put in place to govern and structure the control 

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Recent major accounting scandals have caused financial decision makers to question their data

(2) FIFA – 2015

Some 14 people, comprising FIFA officials and marketing executives, were arrested in May as part of an investigation by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation division, following suspicion of corruption within the sporting organisation.

Some $150m in bribes were said to have changed hands to decide where broadcasting rights would land, alongside other racketeering and money laundering claims. The South African Football Association is reported to have paid $10m to the FA as a sweetener to win the rights to host the World Cup in 2010.

Following this, investigations into the FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022, which are bound for Russia and Qatar, have commenced in order to determine the legitimacy of the bidding process.

There have been calls for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to stand down, but he is set to remain in power until as early as February 2016, at which time the football organisation will elect a successor.

Comedian Lee Nelson took advantage of the chaos recently and “bribed” Blatter at a press conference, showering him in money to host the World Cup 2026 in North Korea.

Visit page two to find out how the nation’s favourite supermarket tripped itself up and why another Japanese technology firm chose to cook the books.

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