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Toshiba in more hot water

TOKYO -- An independent panel is delving further into Toshiba's cooked books. The panel is now checking to see if accounting fraud took place elsewhere in the company, in addition to the irregularities already reported in the Japanese conglomerate's infrastructure division.

     By Friday, about 55 billion yen ($445 million) had already disappeared from operating profits Toshiba reported for previous fiscal years.

     The infrastructure project irregularities account for most of the revisions, but the vanishing act could grow. Fabricated figures have now been found in Toshiba's healthcare and components businesses. Toshiba suspects additional reporting fraud in its semiconductor, personal computer and television businesses.

     Toshiba largely relies on these three businesses, as well as its infrastructure division, for sales.

     The panel, which is made up of outside legal and accounting professionals, will also look into the possibility of intentional or organized bookkeeping manipulation. It may uncover additional fraudulent records in Toshiba's infrastructure business.

     The panel plans to announce the results of its probe sometime next month.

(Nikkei)

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