Total chief under investigation

The boss of Total has been placed under judicial investigation as police step up their probe into alleged corruption involving the French oil firm in Iran.

Christophe de Margerie was interviewed on Wednesday about claims of illegal payments made to secure a natural gas deal with Iran in 1997.

Being put under judicial investigation is the first step to formal charges

Sanyo knocked by accounts probe

Shares in Japanese electronics giant Sanyo have sunk 21% on news that watchdogs are probing its accounts.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission is investigating claims of financial window-dressing at the group.

According to reports, Sanyo is said to have falsified its 2003 report to post a small profit rather than a loss

Hyundai’s boss gets three years

The chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, one of South Korea’s biggest firms, has been sentenced to three years in jail for embezzlement and breach of trust.

Chung Mong-koo, 68, was accused of amassing a multi-million dollar slush fund for personal use and to pay lobbyists and politicians.

A spokesman for South Korea’s top auto maker said the ruling was disappointing and that an appeal would be filed

Sentencing over Foodservice fraud

The ex-chief financial officer at US Foodservice, a unit of Dutch retailer Ahold, has been given three years’ probation over an accounting fraud.

Michael Resnick had pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy.

The case stemmed from an inquiry into Ahold’s 2003 admission that earnings at the US business had been overstated by more than $800m (£493m)

AWB loses powers after Iraq probe

Australia’s wheat exporter AWB is to temporarily lose its monopoly over wheat exports, after a report into bribes paid to Iraq’s former regime.

A judicial inquiry found AWB broke United Nations oil-for-food programme rules by paying Saddam Hussein $222m (£112m) to secure contracts.

The government said AWB would lose its power to veto exports for six months

ABN Amro makes Vietnam settlement

Dutch bank ABN Amro has paid out $4.5m (£2.2m) to try to settle a dispute with the Vietnamese authorities that have detained four of its staff

Daewoo founder loses fraud appeal

Kim Woo-choong, the founder of Daewoo Group, has lost his appeal against a conviction for embezzlement and fraud, but has had his jail sentence cut.

Kim, was found guilty of charges earlier this year, but will now serve eight-and-a-half years in prison rather than 10.

The 69-year-old also had the amount he must repay reduced from 21 trillion won (£22bn; £11

Regulators to investigate iSoft

Accountancy regulators are set to investigate troubled software firm iSoft and its auditors.

The Accountancy Investigation and Disciplinary Board (AIDB) is set to investigate iSoft’s directors and its former auditor, RSM Robson Rhodes.

In August, the board said it had uncovered evidence of irregularities affecting its 2004 and 2005 accounts

Total executive in bribery probe

French oil firm Total says its head of exploration and production, Christophe de Margerie, is being investigated over claims that he paid bribes to win bids.

A French judge has also placed former Total executive Bernard de Combret under investigation.

Total said the allegations centred on deals relating to the United Nations oil-for-food programme in Iraq

Probe into BAE arms deals widens

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has widened its investigation into corruption allegations at UK defence giant BAE Systems.

Together with Ministry of Defence Police, the SFO raided three business addresses and a home earlier this week.

The SFO said the raids were not related to existing inquiries into BAE defence contracts in Romania and Saudi Arabia