Toshiba Corporation is a Japanese conglomerate, which is active in multiple business sectors ranging from the manufacture of electronic devices to the construction of nuclear infrastructure. Its shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Toshiba acknowledged on 21 July 2015 that it had artificially inflated its pre-tax profits by JPY 152 billion (USD 1.2 billion) over a period of seven years. This period started in 2008, when Toshiba inflated its pre-tax profits by a value which corresponds to approximately 25% of its total reported profits. Following this announcement, the stock price lost more than a quarter of its value.
An independent committee found that the accounting fraud was part of a deliberate scheme to systematically over-inflate profits in order to hide a fall in revenue caused by various loss-making business developments.
Toshiba admitted to the wrongdoing, as well as the fact that senior management and the CEO had been involved in the scheme. It has now been established that 25% of reported profits were fictitious and that the period during which Toshiba inflated these commenced on 1 April 2008, at the beginning of the 2008 fiscal year in Japan, and ended on 8 May 2015 (including that day), the last trading day preceding the announcement made by Toshiba after the market was closed that it found some accounting irregularities and that accounts may have to be restated. For this reason, it can be concluded that investors who purchased shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange during this period were misled about the company’s fair value.
We instructed Japanese attorneys to act on behalf of our clients, a group of 80 institutional investors. On 6 September 2017, our attorneys filed a complaint with the Tokyo District Court, with the aim to receive compensation for damages from Toshiba Corporation for an amount of JPY 33 billion (USD 305 million) for these investors.