At the first hearing in the criminal prosecution trial of three former Olympus executives (former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and ex-auditing officer Hideo Yamada) and Olympus Corporation itself, all three defendants and the company pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment. The defendants are charged with infringement of the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Olympus' former Chairman, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa stated "full responsibility lies with me…as the former CEO".
The three individuals accused admitted that, from around 1998, they had shuffled stock in order to conceal paper losses amounting to nearly 100 billion yen, resulting from investment failures by Olympus Corp's financial management during the last years of Japan's bubble economy in the late 1980's. The concealment was carried out by moving losses offshore to overseas funds, and then burying the fund losses with money obtained in the acquisition of three domestic venture companies and a UK medical device manufacturer.