Bloomberg News

U.S. SEC Probing Olympus Payments to U.S. Broker, NYT Says

October 28, 2011

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. authorities including the Securities and Exchange Commission are intensifying a probe of payments by Olympus Corp. to a U.S. broker as part a broader investigation into $687 million in payouts by the company, the New York Times reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened its case two weeks and the inquiry has since spread to multiple federal law enforcement agencies, the newspaper said, citing people briefed on the inquiries.

They include federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the SEC, which has begun an inquiry into the defunct brokerage firm Axes America, the Times said. The SEC declined to comment, the newspaper said.

The inquiry may focus on whether the fees paid by Olympus were kickbacks to company officials involved in the arrangements, the Times said. Until now, the inquiry was mainly aimed at determining if money laundering or other illicit transactions were involved in the payments, the newspaper said.

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