Two former executives of Snow Brand Foods, the Japanese company which collapsed after a meat labelling scandal, have been indicted by prosecutors.
Hiromi Sakurada and Masami Inoue are accused of taking part in the fraud, which saw the company label imported beef as Japanese in order to win lucrative government subsidies.
Both Sakurada and Inoue were arrested last month along with five former Snow Brand managers, and all seven have been indicted. They could face up to ten years in prison if found guilty of fraud.
The Tokyo authorities had set up a scheme to compensate companies after it was discovered that Japanese beef could have been contaminated with BSE. The brain wasting disease, which has been linked with the human disease vCJD, has been discovered in three cows in Japan, and there are fears that many more cattle in the country could have been contaminated.
The beef scandal rocked Japan and Snow Brand Foods' parent, Snow Brand Milk Products, has been working hard to rebuild its image since the revelations. It recently announced plans for a major new venture in the dairy products industry which it clearly hopes will help put its less than salubrious past behind it.