Nissan is also wrapped up in Ghosn’s alleged misconduct
Last month, news broke that Japanese authorities arrested former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct. At the time, court documents stated he had underreported his income to the tune of at least $44 million. New details in the case read straight out of a movie script, as the story reportedly takes an ugly and much weirder turn.
Now, Japanese prosecutors have formally charged the ousted executive with those allegations, according to a recent BBC News report. They’ve also charged Nissan directly in relation to the case. The company said in a statement, “Making false disclosures in an annual securities reports harms the integrity of Nissan’s public disclosures in the securities markets, and the company expresses its deepest regret.” The new charges let authorities continue to detain Ghosn through December 30. Authorities are currently holding him in a Tokyo jail.
“If he had done something wrong, he would never leave it in the apartment”
Reuters also reported Ghosn wanted to retrieve “personal belongings, documents, cash, objects and art pieces” from a Rio de Janeiro apartment. Nissan filed documents in Brazilian courts last week saying the apartment could contain evidence of the alleged misconduct. The company owns the apartment, one of many around the world to which Ghosn had access as an executive. Nissan audited the apartment after Ghosn was terminated and found three safes, all of which it has yet to open.
Ghosn’s lawyer, Jose Roberto de Castro Neves, told Reuters he didn’t know of the safes. He went further to say, “He’s a very smart guy. If he had done something wrong, he would never leave it in the apartment.” Nissan claimed giving Ghosn access to the apartment, as his lawyer requested, would “represent an incalculable risk of destruction of potential evidence of crimes allegedly committed.” At this point, Ghosn and his representatives have been denied access to the apartment.
Apart from the strange turn of events, Ghosn could face serious prison time if convicted. The Japanese Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission stated his alleged crimes carry a fine of up to 700 million yen ($6.2 million). He could face up to a decade in prison, as now shifts toward Nissan’s CEO, Hiroto Saikawa. As the story continues to unfold, analysts contend Nissan will face some blame for Ghosn’s alleged actions. Whether Nissan executives knew about the conduct or lacked internal controls to deal with it remains unclear.