Apple supplier Japan Display says executive embezzled $5.25 million

FILE PHOTO: Japan Display Inc's logo is pictured at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Display Inc said on Thursday it dismissed an accounting executive last year for embezzling about $5.3 million over four years since the Apple Inc supplier went public in 2014.

JDI said in a statement it had filed a criminal complaint against the former employee and that it was cooperating with police. The embezzlement was first reported by the Asahi newspaper on Thursday.

The employee had defrauded the company of about 578 million yen ($5.3 million) between July 2014 and October 2018 by arranging for payments to be made to a fictitious company, JDI said.

The revelation comes as the cash-strapped company is scrambling to clinch a bailout deal with Apple and other investors, seeking to raise at least 50 billion yen.

The liquid crystal display (LCD) maker for smartphones has been losing money for the past five years and last week reported its 11th consecutive quarterly net loss on sluggish display sales and restructuring costs.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Jane Wardell and Stephen Coates