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Gyrus Group Ltd and Olympus Corporation

10 Tachwedd, 2015 | Case Updates

The SFO today offered no evidence against Olympus Corporation and Gyrus Group Ltd, which had been charged with offences of making misleading statements to auditors.  This decision follows consideration of a Court of Appeal judgment in the case handed down in February 2015, which ruled that English law does not criminalise the misleading of auditors by the company under audit.

The SFO could not have prosecuted individuals in this case because Japan does not extradite its nationals.

Notes to editors:

  1. The SFO charged Gyrus Group Ltd and its parent, Olympus Corporation, with offences contrary to section 501 of the Companies Act 2006 in September 2013, of making a statement to an auditor which was misleading.
  2. On 21 February 2014, Mr Justice Eder gave rulings in respect of two matters of law. The first ruling was to the effect that the offence contrary to section 501 could not be committed by  the UK company under audit, the second ruling was to reject the proposition advanced on behalf of the defendant company GGL that directors’ reports and financial statements were not capable of constituting a statement made to the auditors for the purposes of s501(1); the SFO was granted leave to appeal the ruling on the first matter whilst the defendants were granted leave to appeal on the second point.  The case came to the Court of Appeal in December 2014, where the judge’s ruling on both matters of law was upheld.
  3. A court order restricting the reporting of this case was today lifted.