Published: Sun, January 20, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Carlos Ghosn received 'improper payments', Nissan-Mitsubishi probe finds

Carlos Ghosn received 'improper payments', Nissan-Mitsubishi probe finds

Murguet declined to comment on the leadership crisis engulfing Renault-Nissan following Ghosn's arrest in Japan for alleged financial misconduct or any sales impact it may have.

"It's a fact that Mr. Ghosn has misused NMBV", Masuko told reporters, referring to the venture, adding his company is considering filing a damages suit against Ghosn.

The auto manufacturers said Ghosn was paid by a Netherlands-based joint venture without the knowledge of Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa or Mitsubishi boss Osamu Masuko.

Both Mitsubishi and Nissan said they would consider ways to recover the amount from Ghosn, while Mitsubishi lawyer Kei Umebayashi said a criminal charge was also possible.

On Tuesday, a Tokyo court denied his request for release on bail, raising the possibility that he may remain in custody for months before his trial begins.

Ghosn has been charged with violating the financial instruments law by understating his remuneration in Nissan's securities reports as well as for aggravated breach of trust over the transfer of derivative losses from his private asset management company to Nissan's books.

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First, he is accused of under-declaring his income by five billion yen ($46 million) between 2010 and 2015 in official documents to shareholders, apparently to fend off criticism he was overpaid.

Also Friday, lawyers for Ghosn requested for a second time that a Tokyo court grant bail to the 64-year-old, whose lengthened detainment has triggered criticism particularly from overseas.

Nissan had been providing those residences to the executive, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, but people inside the company with knowledge of the issue said the company was only aware that it had been paying rent for Ghosn's apartment in Tokyo.

It is also alleged one of his sisters received $755,000 for work carried out between 2003 and 2016 as part of a "Global Donation Advisory Council" - a body which has never existed according to sources close to Nissan. There should be a new stage, when Ghosn was permanently prevented.

But the Japanese firm is ramping up its probe into its former leader and more revelations are likely as it continues.

Within days of being taken into custody he was sacked as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi but Renault kept him on at chief executive while waiting to see how the case would unfold.

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