Ex-CEO of Japan's Olympus Corp. pleads guilty

TOKYO (AP) -- Olympus Corp.'s former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa admitted guilt Tuesday in a cover-up scandal of massive investment losses at the major Japanese camera and medical equipment company.

The scandal emerged last year when Michael Woodford, the British chief executive who turned whistleblower, raised questions about payments for financial advice and dubious acquisitions. Woodford was since fired.

Tokyo prosecutors have charged the company, Kikukawa and other officials, arrested February, with violating laws regulating securities exchanges by falsifying company financial statements.

If found guilty, individuals face up to 10 years in prison, a 10 million yen ($128,000) fine, or both. The company can be penalized with a fine of up to 700 million yen ($9 million).

Olympus has said it hid 117.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in investment losses dating to the 1990s.