Former Heads of Atlus Parent Company Index Arrested
posted on by Egan Loo
Masami Ochiai, the 54-year-old former chairperson of Index Corporation, and his 48-year-old wife and former Index president Yoshimi Ochiai have been arrested and charged by the special investigations department of the Tokyo district prosecutor's office on Wednesday. The two are accused of violating Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act after being investigated for allegedly improper accounting via fictitious transactions.
Specifically, they are under suspicion of exaggerating revenues using round-trip transactions during the fiscal period that ended on August 2012. According to Index's securities report, the company earned about 18.3 billion yen (about US$180 million) in revenue and recorded about 400 million yen (US$4 million) in profit in that period. Index reported profit for the first time in six periods.
Ochiai denied the charges, telling Nikkei that "We did nothing illegal."
Index once owned and managed Atlus, a former independent company and the current brand of games such as Etrian Odyssey, Shin Megami Tensei, and Persona. Last June, Index filed for civil rehabilitation bankruptcy. Civil rehabilitation is a relatively new form of bankruptcy procedures in Japan, having been passed into law in 1999. Index listed about 24.5 billion yen (about US$250 million) in debts.
Sega's parent company Sega Sammy Holdings decided to take over and buy out Index Corporation in November. Sega then split the contents and solutions business of its Index Corporation subsidiary into its own new subsidiary on April 1. That new subsidiary assumed the name Index, while the old Index company with the game business was renamed Atlus.