Carlos Ghosn received £6.9m in 'improper' payments, says Nissan

Nissan and Mitsubishi say he was paid from joint venture without consulting board

Nissan and Mitsubishi have accused their former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, of receiving €7.8m (£6.9m) in “improper payments” from a joint venture between the Japanese carmakers without consulting other board members.

The companies said they would try to recover the money from Ghosn, alleging the payments amounted to “misconduct”.

The new allegations add to the legal difficulties faced by Ghosn. He was formerly the chairman of the two companies, but was quickly ousted from both following his arrest by Japanese authorities in November on two charges of underreporting his income to regulators.

He remains in detention in Tokyo, with a third charge alleging he transferred personal investment losses to Nissan and used company funds to make payments to a Saudi business associate.

Nissan and Mitsubishi said in a joint statement that their investigations into Ghosn’s conduct found he “received improper payments from Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V. (NMBV)”.

Ghosn was a director of the Netherlands-based joint venture, established in June 2017 to find ways of cutting costs and sharing operations. The carmakers said Ghosn “entered into a personal employment contract” with the company “without any discussion with the other board members, Nissan chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, and Mitsubishi Motors chief executive ,Osamu Masuko, to improperly receive the payments”.

Saikawa and Masuko did not receive any compensation or other payments from NMBV, the carmakers said.

They also allege that Ghosn and another Nissan executive who was arrested in Japan, Greg Kelly, explored “paying undisclosed compensation” to the former shortly after he spearheaded the addition of struggling Mitsubishi to the three-way carmaking alliance between Nissan, Mitsubishi and France’s Renault.

The latest allegations will heighten pressure on Renault to remove Ghosn as its chief executive. Renault has repeatedly said it has found no evidence of wrongdoing, although its investigations are ongoing and it has reportedly come under pressure from the French government, a major shareholder, to replace him.

While Renault has so far remained committed to the alliance, it has now been without its chief executive for almost two months. Thierry Bolloré has been running the carmaker in Ghosn’s absence.

The arrest has also shone a spotlight on Japan’s unorthodox prosecution processes, in which new charges can be added, extending the detention of suspects.

Ghosn has denied all financial misconduct.


Jasper Jolly

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Carlos Ghosn says 'backstabbing' Nissan conspiring against him
In video message ex-chairman says he is innocent and talks of fears for company’s future

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

09, Apr, 2019 @10:41 AM

Article image
Nissan launches $90m lawsuit against former chairman Carlos Ghosn
Japanese carmaker seeking damages for ‘corrupt’ actions by ex-boss who fled to Lebanon

Jasper Jolly

12, Feb, 2020 @11:52 AM

Article image
Nissan investigated by SEC after Carlos Ghosn charges in Japan
Carmaker ‘cooperating fully’ with inquiry into whether it accurately reported executive pay

Jasper Jolly

28, Jan, 2019 @10:28 AM

Article image
Nissan board sacks chairman Carlos Ghosn after 'serious misconduct' claims
Ghosn was said to have enjoyed ‘too much authority’ during his time at the vehicle maker

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and agencies

22, Nov, 2018 @12:05 PM

Article image
Nissan tries to bar Carlos Ghosn from Rio property over corruption scandal
The firm fears Brazil-born Carlos Ghosn may destroy evidence if granted access to the apartment by the courts

Simon Goodley

09, Dec, 2018 @7:46 PM

Article image
Renault finds no illegal payments to Carlos Ghosn in past two years
Investigation will now examine payments made to former Nissan chairman before 2017

Jasper Jolly

10, Jan, 2019 @10:14 PM

Article image
Carlos Ghosn says fellow executives plotted to oust him
Nissan’s former chairman claims ‘plot and treason’ in first interview since his arrest

Jasper Jolly and agencies

30, Jan, 2019 @5:47 PM

Article image
Carlos Ghosn: Nissan scandal slams brakes on cost killer's career
Superstar reputation in global car industry tainted by allegations of misconduct

Jasper Jolly

19, Nov, 2018 @2:43 PM

Article image
Carlos Ghosn sacked as Mitsubishi Motors chairman
Carmaker’s board follows Nissan in ousting executive after misconduct allegations

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and agencies

26, Nov, 2018 @10:09 AM

Article image
Renault accuses Carlos Ghosn of violating company ethics
Investigation into former boss found ‘questionable practices’, French carmaker says

Jasper Jolly and Justin McCurry in Tokyo

03, Apr, 2019 @6:21 PM