Japan's market watchdog said Monday that scandal-hit Toshiba should be slapped with a record $60 million fine over a profit-padding scheme that hammered the reputation of one of Japan's best-known firms.
The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission said it was calling for the 7.37 billion yen penalty -- its biggest ever -- as it reportedly looks into possible criminal charges against former Toshiba executives.
The country's Financial Services Agency must now approve the recommended fine over allegations that Toshiba lied about its finances in earlier stock exchange filings.
"This recommendation is based on the findings of investigations that focused on false statements" made by Toshiba, it said.
Earlier this year, the huge 140-year-old company was hit by the embarrassing revelations that executives systematically pressured underlings to inflate profits in a years-long scheme to hide poor results.
One of the most damaging accounting scandals to hit Japan in recent years, the case forced an incumbent president and seven other top executives to resign.
Toshiba, which sells everything from rice cookers to nuclear reactors, has admitted it had inflated profits by about $1.2 billion since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Now, the securities regulator is also studying whether former Toshiba executives should be pursued on criminal charges, public broadcaster NHK and other local media reported Monday.
Toshiba is also facing lawsuits from hundreds of angry investors over the scandal, which sent its Tokyo-listed shares into a nosedive.
The firm itself is suing several former executives for damages over their alleged role in the affair.