Execs suspicted of faking financial statements

TOKYO — Japan’s onetime Internet powerhouse Livedoor received fresh blows Monday that may prove the corporate coup de grace.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will delist Livedoor and group company Livedoor Marketing from its Mothers market for startups as of April 14.

Triggering the decision, which should send Livedoor’s shares tanking, were new criminal charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission against former president Takafumi Horie and four other Livedoor execs on suspicion they faked financial statements for the fiscal year ended in September 2004.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is expected to issue new indictments for Horie and the others today when their current indictments expire.

One of the quintet, Fumito Kumagai, is expected to resign from the Livedoor board at its June meeting together with two other holdouts from the Horie regime.

Resignations will give the struggling firm the chance to elect a new, untainted management team under current president Kozo Hiramatsu, who will become representative director.

After soaring to a height of ¥742 ($6.23) on Jan. 4, Livedoor’s share price nosedived followed the arrests of Horie and other execs on Jan. 23 for alleged security law violations. On Monday Livedoor stock closed at 55¢.

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