Livedoor Scandal Deepens

24 February 2006

Beleaguered Japanese web tycoon Takafumi Horie faces further charges alleging he tampered with the accounts of internet firm Livedoor.

The ex-ceo and three former executives are now suspected of counting the sale of the company's stock and revenue from affiliates toward the profits of Livedoor, the parent company of the group.

They were arrested last month [WAMN: 24-Jan-06] on suspicion of falsifying the company's financial statements for the year ended September 30, 2004.

Tokyo prosecutors have widened the investigation with the arrest of a fifth man, Fumito Kumagai, Livedoor's representative director.

Horie, who denies any wrongdoing, faces a five year jail term and a fine of ¥5 million ($42k; €35k; £24k) if found guilty.

The internet portal's shares have plummeted from a high of ¥696 by around 90% since the alleged scandal was uncovered. They are now trading at ¥70 and face a delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Data sourced from Washington Post Online; additional information by WARC staff