Watchdog could fine Toshiba $60 million

Watchdog-Lele1Japan’s securities watchdog is likely to recommend a $60 million fine for scandal-hit Toshiba for its advanced books cookery over the past seven years

According to the Nikkei business daily, the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission will make the recommendation to the Financial Services Agency as early as this month.

Toshiba has expected the fine and apparently been putting its pennies aside in a big jar by the door. The fine will not harm its profits, although given the fact it is short of cash it would probably like to spend the money on something else.

Tosh inflated profits over roughly seven years, in what third-party investigators blamed on over-reaching and a culture that discouraged employees from questioning authority. The fine will be eight times the largest that watchdogs have issued in Japan.

The record was 1.6 billion yen paid by industrial conglomerate IHI Corp in 2008 for accounting-related violations, the Nikkei said.

Toshiba has since appointed more outsiders to its board of directors, which this month said it had sued five former executives over mismanagement.